The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has approved the G.hn wired networking standard that will hook up to the proposed national "SmartGrid" energy management plan. G.hn, a standard developed by the International Telecommunications Union for high-speed communications over electrical power lines, phone lines and coaxial cable, controls devices, not the electricity itself. There are no specific proposals yet for implementation of G.hn devices, although the NIST seal of approval is expected to push manufacturers' production timetables. NIST is a unit of the U.S. Department of Commerce. G.hn includes features to embrace the HomePNA networking standard, which delivers broadband data via existing home wiring.
The plans emerged as part of the "NIST Framework and Roadmap for Smart Grid Interoperability Standards Release 1.0," unveiled last week. It incorporates input from more than 1,500 industry, government and other stakeholders who have participated in the NIST framework development process. The Framework draft includes a basic set of standards for interoperability and security, identifying roughly 80 specific standards and specifications to support the Smart Grid. It also proposes 14 "priority action plans" for immediate project "to fill important gaps where additional or revised standards are needed." Projects range from plug-in electric vehicles to home energy management systems to self-diagnosing technology for the nation's power grid.