Wednesday, July 20, 2011

FERC and the five IEC Standard Families

FERC recommended in October 2010 to start a rulemaking process in order to mandate the five families (IEC 61968, IE 61970, IEC 60870-6 TASE.2, IEC 61850 and IEC 62351) for the North American market. For details click HERE.

After many meetings and discussions FERC decided now to recommend these standards – but not to mandate them.

There are good reasons to keep the standardization process going and not to stop the development of these standards and not to freeze the current content. As I always say: We are still at the very beginning of the development and application of theses standards. Of course, the basic technology is defined and mature – but we all need more experience and feedback so that the standards can be improved and extended.

Adoption of any of these standard series mandated by a regulator could harm the whole process of adoption of these standards – because it could stop or blockade the needed maintenance of the standards.

At this time, the five standard families are still recommended by NIST and FERC for guidance in the development of smart(er) grid supporting technologies.

For the standards IEC 61850, IEC 61400-25, IEC 60870-6 TASE.2, and IEC 62351 there seems to be no discussion anymore if these standards will be adopted by the power utility market or not !! The market HAS ADOPTED these standards already. Even if a utility does not ask for IEC 61850 – it will get it! What else?

These standards don’t need any rule making, don’t need to become mandatory standards in the North American market. They are already THE GLOBALLY ACCEPTED AND USED STANDARDS!! The North American market is also about to adopt these standards. The wait for the rulemaking is over (for now) – these standards can and will be used in North America as in the rest of the world.

Note: There is NO competing solution for these standards on my radar screen at all – really.

Click HERE for the official order of FERC [Docket No. RM11-2-000] dated July 19, 2011.

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