DALLAS, Tx.—Following a program announcement by the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) in February, NEMA Assistant Vice President for Strategic Initiatives and Special Projects Paul Molitor unveiled the association’s Smart Grid Interoperable & Conformant (SGIC) testing scheme at the World Meter Design Congress today.
Molitor is the former secretary of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Smart Grid Interoperability Panel (SGIP).
In his remarks, he contrasted a safety failure, such as the recent nuclear power incident in Japan, with an interoperability failure, such as the blackout in the northeastern U.S. and Canada in August 2003.
“The major event that started the blackout was a power line downed by a thunderstorm in Ohio,” Molitor said. “The cascading nature of the failures, as the outage spread east to the utility companies along the eastern seaboard in the U.S. and north into the province of Ontario in Canada, is emblematic of an interoperability failure.”
The SGIC program includes a management scheme for testing practices that is designed to be compatible with both existing global requirements placed on testing bodies by the Geneva-based International Organization for Standardization (ISO), and SGIP, a public-private partnership created by NIST to advance Smart Grid in the U.S.
With the scheme in place, manufacturers, utility companies, and test laboratories will come together under NEMA’s management to identify points of interoperability in Smart Grid standards, and design test specifications that make sense to all parties.
For each of these stakeholders, SGIC accomplishes specific goals:
· meets demands for trusted equipment to fulfill interoperable business needs
· strengthens confidence to invest in plans that expand customer understanding and energy-saving capacity
· meets government’s objective of ubiquitous access
· ensures quality electrical service across the board
· promotes confidence for industry to build products that will be accepted in the market
· ensures industry regulation and oversight of manufactured products
· ensures that there are universal standards that provide ubiquitous access for Smart Grid applications
· allows for “plug-and-play” experiences with products
NEMA is the association of electrical and medical imaging equipment manufacturers. Founded in 1926 and headquartered near Washington, D.C., its approximately 450 member companies manufacture products used in the generation, transmission and distribution, control, and end use of electricity. These products are used in utility, industrial, commercial, institutional, and residential applications. The association’s Medical Imaging & Technology Alliance (MITA) Division represents manufacturers of cutting-edge medical diagnostic imaging equipment including MRI, CT, x-ray, and ultrasound products. Worldwide sales of NEMA-scope products exceed $120 billion. In addition to its headquarters in Rosslyn, Virginia, NEMA also has offices in Beijing and Mexico City.
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