NERC Smart Grid Reliability Study expresses concern
New tools and models are required for the smart grid to reach its potenial while maintaining bulk power system reliability, says a North American Reliability Corporation (NERC) report released on December 2, 2010.
The report is a high-level, preliminary assessment of potential reliability considerations. “This preliminary assessment reviews how the evolving integration of the smart grid can support bulk power system reliability,” said Mark Lauby, Director of Reliability Assessment and Performance Analysis at NERC. “It will be vital that the system is planned, designed and operated to address the grid stability and cyber considerations.”
The report highlighted concerns about the number of new devices being connected to the grid. It states that a robust certification process is needed to ensure that new smart grid devices and systems are added to a grid function in the manner in which they were intended.
It is not sufficient that smart grid devices and systems be certified. Rather, there must also be a robust change control process that will allow entities to document changes made to devices and systems after they are purchased and installed. Page 82.
The report also addresses the need for NERC to enhance its standards as the smart grid evolves to address areas that have not previously been covered by NERC reliability standards.
NERC is the electric reliability organization (ERO) certified by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to establish and enforce reliability standards for the bulk-power system.