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Smart Grid Interop Lab developed in Kentucky

SUBNET Solutions Inc | Tuesday, October 04, 2011

On Monday, October 3, KEMA, an authority on energy testing and certification, announced it had opened its new Smart Grid Interop Lab (SGIL) in Erlanger, Kentucky, touting the facility as the industry's first and only testing center that can offer impartial verification of the interoperability of a device that is to be integrated into the smart grid.

The center was created as researchers realized that in order for the smart grid to be successfully deployed, the technology used in the grid must display end-to-end compatibility and integration. The new lab was designed to help utilities validate new technologies being introduced into the smart grid, understand the necessity for interoperability and the standards that go along with it, and the best ways to integrate technology into existing assets.

The lab will use a suite of KEMA's own tools, but will also utilize state-of-the-art products from manufacturers of low-voltage automation devices. The SGIL is expected to play an essential role in the advancement of testing standards within the industry, as well as develop new technologies and help to create a framework of national smart grid interoperability.

The need for the facility became evident as utilities began requesting help for managing risk exposure, verifying business case projections and securing an efficient and effective smart grid deployment.

"Utilities invest in costly and time-consuming trials to prove interoperability," said Ron Chebra, KEMA vice president. "The KEMA Smart Grid Interop Lab can emulate the utility’s proposed production environment at a fraction of the time and cost of a typical interoperability pilot."

The grand opening, which is scheduled for Tuesday, October 18, will allow participants to view demonstrations by industry experts and network with KEMA staff, industry stakeholders and guest speakers. Discussions will focus on the importance of interoperability for smart grid implementation.

Attendees will also be given a general overview of the lab's design, and will see demonstrations on the lab's architecture and its connectivity with other labs, cyber security and IEC 61850 testing and interoperability. Speakers will also note the importance of interoperability testing in energy storage, smart home and consumer products and smart meters.

Utility executives are encouraged to attend the opening ceremony to share their ideas and see a working smart grid environment in action, and also to meet industry professionals who will be in attendance.

SUBNET Solutions Inc. offers the interoperability that is necessary for the future of the grid, providing substation automation with exceptional cyber security to utilities.  

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