New SGIP White Paper Addresses Smart Grid Security with Broadcast Communications

Ensuring reliability when insecure broadcast communications threaten a smart grid system

WAKEFIELD, Mass., March 7, 2017 – SGIP today announced the release of a free white paper that addresses the issue of system security for smart grid broadcast communications. Smart Grid System Security with Broadcast Communications was published by the Home/Building/Industry-to-Grid Domain Expert Working Group (H/B/I2G DEWG) at SGIP.

The white paper is for utilities, energy service providers and vendors of energy management equipment. It explains how home-based devices can authenticate the sources of broadcast messages.

“Communications with devices at the grid edge is a necessary component for interoperability, but it could be compromised,” said Aaron Smallwood, Vice President, Technology, SGIP. “By understanding the cybersecurity risks associated with broadcast communications and how to protect against them, smart grids can be made more secure.”

Broadcast messages are sent from utilities to home-based devices to manage energy consumption with demand-response programs. The white paper reviews industry requirements and government guidelines that help maintain the integrity of those messages. Furthermore, readers will learn about physical security related to broadcast communications, as well as counter measures against various types of cyber-attacks.

“The H/B/I2G DEWG considers cybersecurity with broadcast communications an important issue,” said Dr. Kenneth Wacks, chair of the working group. “This is the third paper we have published in a series on broadcast communications. It provides a methodical examination of cybersecurity risks, tools, and cost-effective solutions for broadcast communications.”

The white paper is available free of charge from the SGIP website.

The public is invited to register for the SGIP-hosted webinar on this white paper, March 16, 2017 at 1:00 p.m. Eastern time.

About SGIP
SGIP is an industry consortium representing a cross-section of the energy ecosystem focusing on accelerating grid modernization and the energy Internet of Things through policy, education, and promotion of interoperability and standards to empower customers and enable a sustainable energy future. Our members are utilities, vendors, investment institutions, industry associations, regulators, government entities, national labs, services providers and universities. A nonprofit organization, we drive change through a consensus process. Visit

Follow SGIP on LinkedIn and Twitter.

SGIP White Paper Addresses Protecting Smart Grids from Electromagnetic Phenomena

Readers will learn about different threats against grid reliability and how to test for them

Wakefield, Mass., Feb. 21, 2017 – SGIP today announced the publication of a new white paper addressing the performance of smart grid devices near power lines, where electromagnetic (EM) phenomena could threaten grid reliability. Manufacturers of smart grid devices, along with EMC test labs, power utilities and more can benefit from this free resource.

The Evaluation of the Electromagnetic Phenomena Issues on Smart Grid Reliability white paper was developed by the Electromagnetic Interoperability Issues Working Group (EMIIWG), an SGIP committee. Readers will have a better understanding of the EM environment where smart grid devices operate, tests to determine the immunity of those devices to EM phenomena and sources of further information on testing.

“Electromagnetic environments and their impacts on smart grid devices is a complex issue but important to understand,” said Aaron Smallwood, Vice President Technology at SGIP.

The devices addressed by the white paper monitor and control power flow, and they send control information bi-directionally to perform smart grid functions.

“For a smart grid to endure electromagnetic phenomena, devices must not only survive events but also continue performing their intended functions,” said Donald Heirman, Chair of the EMIIWG. “Our working group spent many months crafting this white paper to provide clear and credible direction for protecting our energy.”

To download the white paper from SGIP, click here.

To view a free SGIP webinar on the topic of smart grids and electromagnetic phenomena, click here.

About SGIP
SGIP is an industry consortium representing a cross section of the energy ecosystem focusing on accelerating grid modernization and the energy Internet of Things through policy, education, and promotion of interoperability and standards to empower customers and enable a sustainable energy future. Our members are utilities, vendors, investment institutions, industry associations, regulators, government entities, national labs, services providers and universities. A nonprofit organization, we drive change through a consensus process. Visit

Follow SGIP on LinkedIn and Twitter.




SGIP’s 2016 North American Test Bed Survey finds distributed intelligence and control dominate grid modernization research

WAKEFIELD, Mass. – Feb. 2, 2017 – Researchers from some of the largest, best-known grid modernization testing facilities in North America are investigating technologies that will move generation, intelligence and control to the grid edge. That’s a key finding of SGIP’s just published 2016 Grid Modernization Test Bed Survey.

This is the second year that SGIP has conducted its survey, which was initiated to foster industry collaboration by identifying technology under study at various facilities and pinpointing where partnerships are welcome.

“Given the complexity of grid challenges, industry players must work in tandem to develop viable solutions,” said Sharon Allan, president and CEO of SGIP. “This survey spotlights some of the amazing work researchers are conducting and also details how various organizations forge alliances to advance grid technology development.”

The survey collects data from researchers at national labs, academia, utilities and industry vendors. Results of this year’s study indicate that more than half – 60 percent – of survey respondents name distributed generation as a leading focus area, while over half – 53 percent of the researchers – study interoperability. Cybersecurity is a focus area for 48 percent of the investigators.

Survey results also show that research concentrations vary by type of institution. For instance, when it comes to interoperability, 47 percent of national labs say it’s a key study area, versus 57 percent of academics, one-third of utilities and 75 percent of equipment vendors, a.k.a. industry labs. Although grid-edge control itself was not a focus-area choice available to survey respondents, intelligent electronic devices, such as microprocessor-based controllers on things like circuit breakers or capacitor banks, was. Two-thirds of survey respondents had IEDs under study.

To see complete results, download a copy of the survey from the SGIP website.

About SGIP

SGIP is an industry consortium representing a cross-section of the energy ecosystem focusing on accelerating grid modernization and the energy Internet of Things through policy, education, and promotion of interoperability and standards to empower customers and enable a sustainable energy future. Our members are utilities, vendors, investment institutions, industry associations, regulators, government entities, national labs, services providers and universities. As a nonprofit organization, we drive change through a consensus process. Visit

Follow SGIP on LinkedIn and Twitter.


Merger provides a single source for information and collaboration for utilities and DER providers on the smart transition to clean energy.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Jan. 31, 2017 – Julia Hamm, CEO and President of the Smart Electric Power Alliance (SEPA), and Sharon Allan, CEO and President of SGIP, will kick off DistribuTECH 2017 in San Diego with an announcement of the intent to merge the two organizations under the SEPA brand and organizational umbrella.

Speaking at a breakfast briefing, Hamm and Allan said that given the increasing integration of distributed energy resources (DERs) and grid modernization, a merger of SGIP and SEPA just makes sense. A smart transition to a clean energy future is driving changes to business and regulatory models plus improved customer engagement, SEPA’s particular areas of expertise for SEPA. It also means enhanced planning and grid operations plus technological advancement, the corresponding areas of expertise for SGIP.

“Within SEPA’s mission of facilitating the electric power sector’s smart transition to clean energy future, integrating SGIP’s technical knowledge is another way to serve our members. As a result of the merger, we are excited to add as many as 100 new member organizations to our existing base of 1,000 members, including utilities, private sector corporations and government agencies,” Hamm said. “Moreover, the combination of SEPA’s and SGIP’s resources and expertise will accelerate grid modernization efforts and have an even greater impact on the industry.”

Allan also stressed that, “SGIP’s focus areas of DER management, the energy Internet of Things, cybersecurity, standards and solar data exchange will continue to be a priority under the SEPA umbrella. Plus, a merger with SEPA will provide members with a much broader network of experts to collaborate and consult with on their grid modernization and DER questions and efforts.”

SEPA and SGIP share the same vision about the future of the energy sector. SEPA’s focus on market research, conferences and events, and advisory services — combined with SGIP’s technical depth — will enable greater-cross fertilization of ideas and initiatives in the industry dealing with business and technical issues, and market and regulatory concerns.

The merger has been approved by the boards of both organizations and now goes to the full SGIP membership for a vote. If approved by SGIP’s members, the merger could be legally finalized in the late first or early second quarter of 2017. However, to ensure the continued, orderly operations of the two organizations, the integration will be phased in during the remainder of the year. All of SGIP’s staff will transition to positions at SEPA and will continue to focus their work on programs originated at SGIP.

About SEPA

The Smart Electric Power Alliance (SEPA) is an educational nonprofit working to facilitate the utility industry’s transition to a clean energy future through education, research and collaboration. SEPA offers a range of research initiatives and resources, as well as conferences, educational events and professional networking opportunities. SEPA is founder and co-sponsor of Solar Power International and winner of the Keystone Policy Center’s 2016 Leadership in Energy Award. For more information, visit

Follow SEPA on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

About SGIP

SGIP is an industry consortium representing a cross-section of the energy ecosystem focusing on accelerating grid modernization and the energy Internet of Things through policy, education, and promotion of interoperability and standards to empower customers and enable a sustainable energy future. Our members are utilities, vendors, investment institutions, industry associations, regulators, government entities, national labs, services providers and universities. As a nonprofit organization, we drive change through a consensus process. Visit

Follow SGIP on LinkedIn and Twitter.

2016 Grid Modernization Summit Survey Results

We are so glad that you attended the 2016 SGIP Grid Modernization Summit! We had a great time and hope that you did too.

Click here to access a photo library of the Summit and relive the program, speakers and networking activities shared in Washington, DC. Click here to read an article recapping the summit.

We appreciate your time in taking the 2016 Grid Modernization Survey. Your feedback is very important to us and helps shape future events.

Here’s what we found out from the survey:

Average attendee satisfaction rating for:

Online Registration 94.44 percent
Event Communications and Logistics 86.11 percent
Welcome Reception on Monday 100 percent
Executive Forum on Tuesday and Wednesday 100 percent
Award Dinner on Tuesday 96.55 percent
Vendor Networking Reception on Wednesday 96.67 percent
Technical Working Group and Committee Meetings Wednesday and Thursday 92.31 percent
Vendor Expo Passport Prizes on Wednesday 96 percent

Average attendee satisfaction for meeting facilities:

Excellent Good Poor
Meeting rooms  38.89 percent 58.33 percent 2.78 percent
Food and Beverage  75 percent 25 percent as Good 0 percent
Audio Visual  44.44 percent 52.78 percent 2.78 percent
Signage  44.44 percent 50 percent as Good 5.56 percent

Here are some topics suggested for next year’ summit:

  • Banking
  • DER with focus on analytics and standardization of models
  • Orange ButtonSM
  • Customer economics driving incentives
  • New technologies of automation and communications like 5G
  • Cybersecurity
  • Climate change implications of our decisions and actions
  • Microgrids policy and technology
  • Internet of Things (IoT) for smart cities

Congratulations to Amy Erwin from SRP for winning the survey drawing for an Amazon gift card!

In its second year, the annual SGIP Grid Modernization Summit had more attendees than in 2015. Many of the suggestions following last year’s event, were implemented in 2016, yielding good results. Networking continues to be the biggest driver for registration.

Following the success of this year’s summit, SGIP hopes to continue refining its program for 2017 and make more strides toward grid modernization.

SGIP White Paper Offers Insights to Upgrading Transactive Energy Systems

The resource explores transactive energy systems and integrating distributed energy resources

WAKEFIELD, Mass. – Dec. 15, 2016 SGIP today announced the release of a white paper to help utilities, regulators, and policymakers advance their understanding of transactive energy (TE) and how it can help integrate distributed energy resources (DER) in smart grids. Transactive Energy Application Landscape Scenarios is a free resource from SGIP’s Transactive Energy Coordination Group. It examines the application of transactive techniques to different grid operational scenarios, which include business functions, actors in different smart grid application domains and more.

The GridWise Architecture Council’s TE Framework defines TE as “a system of economic and control mechanisms that allows the dynamic balance of supply and demand across the entire electrical infrastructure using value as a key operational parameter.” It’s important for integrating DER, as well as distribution-level operations, grid efficiency and more.

“With this new white paper, smart grid stakeholders can better see some of the possibilities that come with TE,” said Aaron Smallwood, Vice President, Technology at SGIP. “As DER penetration continues to be a major driving force for interoperability, TE concepts can provide reliability and efficiency to advancing grids.”

The white paper provides six high-level, operational scenarios that together outline an electric grid landscape in which a TE system operates. These provide insights that can help align stakeholders, describe interoperability gaps, aid in developing reference architectures, and identify opportunities for new standards and practices.

”This work represents a distillation of a large variety of use cases into a small set of scenarios that can be used to explore TE designs and key interfaces for standardization,” said Ron Melton, Chair of the Transactive Energy Coordination Group at SGIP. The group’s Secretary, David Holmberg, added, “Interoperable TE systems depend on common understanding and collaborative efforts enabled by this work. This will lead to more effective TE technologies available sooner to meet emerging critical grid needs.”

About SGIP

SGIP is an industry consortium representing a cross-section of the energy ecosystem focusing on accelerating grid modernization and the energy Internet of Things through policy, education, and promotion of interoperability and standards to empower customers and enable a sustainable energy future. Our members are utilities, vendors, investment institutions, industry associations, regulators, government entities, national labs, services providers and universities. A nonprofit organization, we drive change through a consensus process. Visit

Follow SGIP on LinkedIn and Twitter.

Green Ovations | Open-Source Smarts: How OpenFMB™ Supports DER Management

This article was published in the Electric Energy Online Nov/Dec Issue 2016
Aaron Smallwood VP Technology SGIP

If there’s one kind of system that just about every firm has, it’s a database. And, guess what? About 25 percent of relational databases are created with open source software, according to analysts at the research firm Gartner.

There are plenty of reasons open source code is gaining popularity. Among them are cost, as it’s often cheaper than proprietary code you can get from only one vendor. Also, it often has enhanced reliability and security because both of these improve due to the rigorous peer review that open source code undergoes by the community.

At SGIP we are encouraging the industry to embrace open source solutions like Open Field Message Bus, or OpenFMB™. The OpenFMB™ framework can help utilities effectively manage a circuit with high penetration of DERs by adding a layer of local data exchange and control to augment a distribution management system (DMS).

Initially the brain child of engineers at Duke Energy, OpenFMB™ has been expanded and developed by SGIP’s OpenFMB™ working group. In March 2016, it was ratified as a standard by the North American Energy Standards Board (NAESB). At SGIP’s 2016 Grid Modernization Summit held November 7th through 10th in Washington, DC, SGIP made the OpenFMB™ code available to all and welcomes new development efforts from industry players.


Built to evolve with our changing grid

OpenFMB™ isn’t a manufactured product, technology or solution. It’s a reference architecture, a framework for distributed intelligence designed to drive interoperability and facilitate data exchange between field devices.

By design, OpenFMB™ operates in harmony with existing and commonly used standards, such as the International Electrotechnical Commission’s Common Information Model (CIM). Similarly, OpenFMB™ is a common semantic or data model to be shared across various systems. You don’t have to use the CIM, but it is commonly used throughout the electric industry in North America.

Other key ingredients of OpenFMB™ are publish/subscribe (Pub/Sub) protocols. These are used widely in the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) industry, and the development team leveraged three popular standards:

  • DDS: Data Distribution Service
  • MQTT: Message Queue Telemetry Transport
  • AMQP: Advanced Message Queue Protocol

In addition, several principles guided development of the framework. First, it had to be an agile and evolving architecture. One of the core beliefs held by development team members is that there is no one-size-fits-all technology that enables DERs to integrate with the existing power systems. So, our industry needs a framework that is flexible enough to handle any data model and any pub/sub protocol. At the same time, we don’t want to reinvent the wheel or duplicate any efforts in the standards community. It’s more efficient to leverage what already exists.

Additionally, our development team focused on trying to solve real problems and delivering business value. Plus, we made sure the system is flexible, scalable and backward compatible. And, naturally, we built security in from the start.

An elegant work-around

So, what does OpenFMB™ do? It eliminates the need to send data back to a head-end system, wait for that system to crunch its numbers and make a decision, then carry out the decision via a control signal sent back to a grid-edge device.

That’s what happens in today’s utility landscape. A typical Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) system and DMS may come prepackaged with vendor-specific hardware, telecommunications and software. The only way to stitch various systems and technologies together is in the back office through integration. That takes time … lots of it. If you’re trying to coordinate solar and storage, for instance, the round-trip involved in such an effort takes so long, the cloud cover you were trying to correct for may already have moved on.

Today, it can be difficult to get information in the field shared between devices. So, we took the concept of an enterprise service bus and we put it as close to the grid edge as possible. With many of the devices that we would interconnect through this bus, there’s already a computer with some type of Linux system installed, so you may not even need additional hardware with things like inverters and controllers.

Instead, you could use OpenFMB™ to put in a virtual node that would allow peer-to-peer communication using a semantic model based on common languages and protocols. And, because of how the OpenFMB™ framework was designed, it can run on top of any network – wired or wireless. You can install multiple buses to direct interaction patterns and isolate data exchanges for multiple use cases.

One of the key benefits of OpenFMB™ is its ability to enable distributed intelligence. This feature is what’s needed for the efficient and scalable management of distributed energy resources, particularly on circuits with high penetrations of solar PV.

Another key attribute of the framework is its ability to provide local device coordination that is harmonized with existing centralized system control. Through this feature, grid operators can begin moving to a layered DER-management paradigm. That’s important because a lot of the analytics that are needed for DER integration while also avoiding reliability issues will need to be at the grid-edge. And, based on those analytics, we’re also going to have to coordinate DER-optimization to support the grid itself.

Putting OpenFMB™ to work

Once you start applying OpenFMB™, interaction patterns for each use case can be utilized to segment and isolate the data exchanges. For example, suppose you’re using a bus for microgrid optimization or distributed energy resource management. To achieve optimization, you need a variety of actors that share a common set of parameters.

In the use cases noted above, you may have a common interaction pattern that facilitates near real-time readings of kilowatts, VARs, voltage, current, phase angle, kilowatt hours, time stamp and state of charge. All the unneeded parameters that you can potentially get from the connected devices are not published to the bus.

You’ll be able to find code and documentation for the above microgrid use case on the OpenFMB™ Collaboration site, at a newly launched website available to any industry player that wants to leverage this architecture for grid modernization efforts.

The new site includes:

  • An OpenFMB™ overview that helps newcomers learn what OpenFMB™ is, how it works and future activities
  • Guidance on how you can get the standard itself from NAESB
  • OpenFMB™-related publications and an ever-growing use case library
  • Informational wiki’s and ways for the community to interact with one another as we move forward

Best yet, you’ll have access to OpenFMB™ code itself, hosted on an OpenFMB™ GitHub site. GitHub is an online collaboration site designed for hosting and developing open-sourced software. It allows people to download the code and share additional code that they’ve developed. We’re making the foundational set of OpenFMB™ code available so that developers and vendors in the electric industry can build upon it and create an active open-source community.

Among the types of code now available on the new site, you’ll find the OpenFMB™ Developers Toolkit, which is a downloadable, turnkey, executable file. Once you download it, you will be able to extract and install it, and you’ll have an OpenFMB™ implementation largely ready to use. Along with the code comes a full set of instructions and how-to information to help you get the most of this resource.

The site also has a do-it-yourself section for advanced users, and that contains several code snippets that you can manipulate and configure yourself. Once you have a basic familiarity with the OpenFMB™ code set, you can use these code phrases to explore security, experiment with scaling and pursue multiple use cases on your own.

SGIP is excited to share this site and its abundant resources with industry, but we’re also equally excited to see what people do with it. There’s a whole new grid-operations landscape out there to be addressed with OpenFMB™. SGIP invites you to explore this framework by visiting and be sure to bring your insights and innovations back to the site so you can share them with the entire grid-modernization community.




This article was published in the World Generation Magazine Nov/Dec Issue 2016

Do you remember the late 1990s, when Apple was very much an underdog fighting for its share of the computer-market bone? IBM’s slogan was “Think,” so Apple ran with “Think Different.”

Today, twenty years later, the company that never did manage to elbow windows computers off the shelf still prevailed by following its own slogan. Consider this: Some 40 percent of U.S. smartphone users are walking around with an iPhone in their pockets.

I recall this marketing success because I want utilities to take a cue from Apple: Think different. If you’re not already doing so, now would be a good time to start. Many utility professionals have already begun to think differently, and I have the honor of working with some of them in the Grid Management Working Group hosted by SGIP. What are they thinking about? Take a look.


We must move monitoring and control technology farther out toward the grid edge. My discussions with utility professionals tell me we’re already behind on this evolution. As examples showing why this is so important, consider these experiences from a West Coast utility.

In one case, the utility had grid-scale solar generating at full output as well as a 400 MW pump storage station that was pushing water behind the dam. When the pump station tripped off, voltage jumped and capacitor banks tripped off.

While this didn’t result in outages, it could have. If a bunch of capacitor banks go down and voltage goes too low, lines will trip off due to instability.

In another case, outages did occur. The utility had an under-frequency scheme in place, and it had to respond within six cycles to be effective. All looked well when low voltage kicked this protective scheme into operation, and a 7 kV line was tripped off. But, there was so much solar on the line, it remained energized beyond the six-cycle time limit, and six more feeders tripped off as a result. In both of these cases, one problem looms: lack of control. Much of that problem stems from centralized control that takes too long to really react to rapidly-changing conditions from intermittent generation.


A few years ago, engineers at Duke Energy were trying to coordinate solar and storage installations. To that end, they clocked the round trip from sensors on an inverter to the head-end system, through the computation cycle and then back to the inverter. It took some 40 seconds. This is what got Duke started down the path of OpenFMBTM, a reference architecture that provides a framework for distributed intelligence.

Working with Duke and other industry players, SGIP’s OpenFMBTM working group shepherded this architecture through the standards process. It was ratified as a standard by the North American Energy Standards Board (NAESB) in March of 2016 and, at SGIP’s 2016 Grid Modernization Summit held in Washington, DC November, we launched a collaborative website where people can access the OpenFMBTM code itself.

OpenFMBTM supports grid-edge coordination of distributed energy resources and the grid itself because it facilitates local data exchange on a circuit segment, which enables decision making without centralized system control. That’s crucial because Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) systems typically collect grid status data every four or five seconds, and that’s just not fast enough when you have a protective scheme that must operate in six cycles.


Taking a Closer Look at SGIP’s Grid Management Work Group

This article was recently published in Metering & Smart Energy International.
Sharon Allan, President and CEO SGIP

 The Smart Grid Interoperability Panel (SGIP) launched its new utility-led work group earlier this year to explore the technologies, concepts, capabilities and architecture principles required to manage a more complex grid.

Citing a rise in the integration of distributed energy resources (DER) into the distribution grid, SGIP president and CEO Sharon Allan collaborated with SGIP member utilities on the formation of the grid management group.

“Energy regulation and advances in technology are rapidly  driving the integration of more distributed energy resources into the distribution grid and in order to effectively enable and utilize these resources and maintain grid reliability, we began collaborating on the changes needed for electric distribution system planning and operations,” says Allan.

“The output is to be able to create sourcing requirements that can be leveraged for the next procurement cycle.”

The working group holds monthly meetings and discusses a variety of topics, such as the impact of distributed energy resources on grid management or energy models. A recent meeting covered the topic of fault location, isolation and service restoration (FLISR). Allan notes that although each utility was putting FLISR into practice, the group first had to define FLSIR, as even within the utilities present there were varied definitions of FLSIR. The utilities worked toward an established definition of FLSIR and then proceeded to map out the impact of DER on fault location, isolation and service restoration.

“This is our general format, where typically we have two utilities who are deploying DER talking about how it affects the particular topic being discussed – FLISR, reliability and operations or protection and control for example. The group is able to openly share and ask questions, creating an environment conducive to learning.”

While these meetings are utility driven for now, discussion will open up to include national labs, research and consulting organizations – and eventually vendor companies. The aim is to help utilities refine their requirements for grid modernization and integration of distributed energy resources, in order that they can define a roadmap for sourcing and procurement.

Allan believes that by keeping the group exclusive to utilities for the time being, they are able to think outside the box and beyond what current systems can do, to develop a system that is suited first to the needs of the utility and its customers, and then to the vendor environment.

While the grid management group currently has 25-30 utility members, and the number of participating utilities continues to grow, outreach and connecting to the right people remains a challenge as there are over 3,000 utilities in the US.

However, feedback continues to be positive, Allan says. “The utilities that I come into contact with have indicated a need for a platform that brings operational and IT personnel together.

“There are a few different forms where you might have CIO round tables; and there are some where you might have an executive strategy table. But there isn’t really a good central platform for operational people to connect with their peers.”

The Grid Management Working Group meeting, held at SGIP’s 2016 Grid Modernization Summit in Washington, DC, continued the discussion, this time with participation from national labs. The November agenda included dialog around grid architecture, grid sensing and measurement, interoperability, microgrid control and testing, along with next steps for broadening the discussion.

Utilities interested in joining the Grid Management Working Group and SGIP can contact Sharon Allan directly at


December Update

Department of Energy Gives Orange Button a High Mark

Early this year, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) SunShot Initiative selected SGIP, SunSpecAlliance, kWh Analytics, and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) to lead the Orange Button initiative, which will streamline the way the solar industry exchanges data. Following its Q3 review of the initiative on November 30th, I’m pleased to say the DOE has given the Orange Button project a green status.

In the past year, SGIP and its partners have completed a scoping study for the initiative, and we’re working on the Market Requirements Document, which is currently in draft and will be finalized in early 2017. This progress has been met with DOE approval, and we will go through the continuation decision process with DOE for Orange Button in January and February.

It was a pleasure to see many Orange Button participants in a meeting at the SGIP 2016 Grid Modernization Conference in Washington, D.C. I’m confident we will continue our success into the New Year.

Major Milestone Accomplishments in 2016 for OpenFMBTM

As this year wraps up, I’m proud of the accomplishments SGIP and our partners have made in 2016 for Open Field Message Bus (OpenFMBTM), which is an architectural framework helping to enable smart grids through distributed intelligence at the grid edge. Here are some of the milestones we’ve passed this year:

  • Ratification as a standard by the North American Energy Standards Board (NAESB)
  • DER Circuit Segment Management Use Case
  • Data Model for DER Circuit Segment Management use Case
  • An OpenFMBTM demonstration at the SGIP 2016 Grid Modernization Summit and use case preview webinar
  • The launch of the OpenFMBTM Collaboration Site, which offers example code, use cases, wikis, a blog, useful links, and a community of thought leaders
  • Work on Cybersecurity Framework and Roadmap development for OpenFMBTM.

If you would like to learn more about the Collaboration Site, you can listen to the Collaboration Site Walk-Through Webinar replay, available on

Update on the Catalog of Standards

In January 2017, the SGIP PMO will facilitate a ballot process for SGIP members to evaluate and decide inclusion of five candidate standards into the Catalog of Standards.  There are five candidates to be voted on for entry into the SGIP Catalog of Standards listed in the graphic below:
Voting Eligibility

SGIP Members in good standing can vote on the five candidates via electronic ballot. Each SGIP member organization has one vote.  The Catalog of Standards is reference compendium for the Electric Grid community with the intent of serving as a useful resource for utilities, manufacturers, regulators, consumer and other industry stakeholders. Only the Primary Representative for each member organization can vote, unless unable to do so, and then the Alternate is able to vote.

Voting Pool Registration

An email was sent earlier this week to the Primary/Alternate representatives as a 30-Day Notice of impending votes for candidate standards for entry into the SGIP Catalog of Standards.

To participate in this Catalog of Standards ballot and register for the voting pool, eligible members must respond in the affirmative to the email sent by Lesley Strand.

Please notify Lesley Strand,, if you have questions.