Furthering IEEE 2030

by Dick DeBlasio, IEEE 2030 Working Group

In September, IEEE published the world’s first system-of-systems, foundational standard created from the ground up to inform smart grid interconnection and interoperability.

IEEE 2030, “Guide for Smart Grid Interoperability of Energy Technology and Information Technology Operation with the Electric Power System (EPS), End-Use Applications, and Loads,” was the fruit of roughly two years of rapid work and groundbreaking, cross-discipline collaboration among hundreds of power, communications and information technology engineers who are architecting the smart grid around the world.

So now what?

For starters, more standards work. During the next decades of global smart grid implementation, we likely will see a deluge of new and revised systems-level and granular standards inundating utilities, manufacturers, governments, academia and users. The smart grid will demand ongoing standards work in automobiles, communications and information technology, cybersecurity, sensors and power generation, storage, transmission, distribution and load serving. The IEEE 2030 base standard already has yielded three extensions designed to fill key gaps in the smart grid standards landscape.

Accommodating Electric Transportation

Increased use of electric vehicles (EVs) and deployment of related infrastructure worldwide tee up questions that standards must address. EVs demand a more robust, intelligent and end-to-end systems approach to load management and demand response, for example, to maintain grid stability regarding generation and distribution capacity.

IEEE P2030.1, “Guide for Electric-Sourced Transportation Infrastructure,” provides utilities, manufacturers, transportation providers, infrastructure developers and end users with guidance on applications for road-based personal and mass transportation. Task forces have been formed around communication and cybersecurity, electric grid (from generation to consumer), road map (including privacy and roaming) and vehicle technology (including charging systems). The full working group will discuss and review the findings of each task force.

Integrating Energy Storage

Smart grid goals around the world are sprawling: reducing environmental impact, improving power quality and reliability, controlling user and provider costs and fostering new business opportunities. Markets around the world prioritize potential benefits differently, but many of them hinge on expanded reliance on renewable energy sources. Regulations, however, dictate that utilities must deliver power within strict frequency and voltage bands that vary by market worldwide to preserve grid stability, power quality and consumer and worker safety. Smart grid technologies and operation will provide an excellent platform for renewable energy technology operations such as wind and solar. These smart grid technology advances will minimize the natural intermittency of wind and solar resources and its impacts on wind and solar electricity delivery. The result will be the providing of ancillary services such as voltage support and supplemental a power at critical operational times. This will be a giant step to overcoming a major challenge to large-scale integration of renewables regarding operational optimization.

IEEE P2030.2, “Guide for the Interoperability of Energy Storage Systems Integrated with the Electric Power Infrastructure,” then, is being developed to inform a greater understanding of discrete and hybrid energy storage systems that will be required to buffer the dynamic effect of renewables.

Testing and Conformance Verification

IEEE P2030.2 will serve as a technical knowledge base about energy storage systems (addressing terminology, functional performance, interoperability of system topologies, evaluation criteria, operations, testing and engineering principles, for example). Another standard is under development to address test and conformance verification regarding interconnection of that storage equipment with the grid. IEEE P2030.3, “Standard for Test Procedures for Electric Energy Storage Equipment and Systems for Electric Power Systems Applications,” will fill a gap, given that electric storage has not been integrated in large scale with the grid.

The IEEE P2030.3 Working Group illustrates fundamental changes the smart grid brings to the power industry. A senior engineer with the China Electric Power Research Institute (CEPRI) of State Grid Corp. of China (SGCC) is chairing the IEEE P2030.3 Working Group. We are moving to shared operating principles and technologies across what have been distinct regions in which independent utilities manage infrastructures of distinct, proprietary systems. The smart grid is such a big, layered engineering problem that it demands unprecedented collaboration across areas of expertise and geographic boundaries.

Gathering New Lessons Learned

In addition to the three extension projects, IEEE 2030 figures to evolve as new lessons learned, challenges and experiences present themselves during worldwide smart grid deployment. The base standard represents the floor of knowledge the world’s smart grid developers worked from regarding interconnections, interfaces and other points of interoperability at the time of IEEE 2030’s approval. New insight regarding what to do and what not to do are being gleaned daily from the field of intensifying, real-world smart grid rollout. IEEE 2030 should be expanded, revised or both to reflect that information.

Two factors magnify the importance of wringing maximum mileage and value from the effort invested in IEEE 2030:

  • Utility work force is aging. The industry is poised for a terrific turnover in engineers and other decision-makers. Standards such as IEEE 2030 will ensure knowledge is not lost, grid safety and reliability do not suffer and the larger smart grid effort does not lose momentum in the transition.
  • Across industries and markets, research funding is evaporating. IEEE 2030 builds on the U.S. Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) of 2007 and efforts of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), International Organization for Standardization/International Electrotechnical Commission (ISO/IEC), the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) International and ZigBee, among others. IEEE 2030 also marked a new entry in the volumes of standards and other documentation that will inform smart grid planning, development, deployment and activation worldwide. As opposed to retrofitting existing documents to the specifics of the next-generation smart grid, IEEE 2030 was built for this job. Future standards-development efforts, if for no other reason than cost efficiency, must build on the groundbreaking, ground-up work recorded in IEEE 2030.

The systems-level knowledge base IEEE 2030 has established is the beginning of the guidance the global smart grid community will need to plan, design, deploy and enable an effectively borderless infrastructure of two-way power and information flow during the next several decades.

In addition to his role as chairman of the IEEE 2030 Working Group, Dick DeBlasio is a member of the IEEE Standards Association Board of Governors and chief engineer with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

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