MultiSpeak, an interoperability standard for utilities that enables integration of smart grid software applications, is now an official standard in the Catalogue of Standards (COS), following a vote by the Smart Grid Interoperability Panel (SGIP). The SGIP also voted to approve MultiSpeak’s security standard, the first interoperability standard designed to improve the cybersecurity of smart grid applications.
“MultiSpeak is already the most widely applied de facto standard in North America pertaining to distribution utilities—this vote makes it an official standard,” said Dave Mohre, director of energy and power at the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, which launched the MultiSpeak Initiative more than a decade ago. “More than 725 utilities in at least 19 different countries use MultiSpeak in their daily operations, and with this vote, we expect that number to increase exponentially.”
The creation of interoperability standards common to both utilities and technology developers is central to grid modernization. The interoperability standards approved by the SGIP enable an array of applications such as smart-feeder switching, outage management, power quality improvement and other smart grid functions. The SGIP conducts an extensive technical review of proposed standards before voting to determine if the standard should be included in the COS.
The security standards, developed as part of the Smart Grid Demonstration Project coordinated by National Rural Electric Cooperative Association’s Cooperative Research Network are the first security standards included in the COS and represent a significant step for the industry. The new security standards will help utilities protect customer data and provide a set of best practices for vendors developing smart grid products and applications.
The National Institute of Standards and Technology launched the SGIP, a panel that includes utilities, regulators, vendors and system integrators, to facilitate the development and approval of interoperability standards that enhance security and improves communications for utilities deploying smart grid technologies.