SOURCE: KEMA

KEMA

January 31, 2011 08:46 ET

KEMA Collaborates With Duke Energy to Develop First Smart Grid Interoperability Testing Lab in U.S.

Offers Integration, Testing, and Compliance Certification to Manage Grid Technology Risks

BURLINGTON, MA--(Marketwire - January 31, 2011) - KEMA and Duke Energy today announced their collaboration on developing smart grid interoperability testing and certification capabilities. The Smart Grid Interop Lab (Interop Lab) will provide utilities and technology suppliers independent verification of device specifications. It will also certify smart grid product and service interoperability, performance, and compliance with existing and emerging standards. Through the testing process, the Interop Lab will provide input to the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and other smart grid standards development initiatives. The Interop Lab will offer clients a platform for managing risk exposure, verifying business case projections, and securing successful smart grid deployment.

As part of the collaboration KEMA will provide interoperability testing for Duke Energy's smart grid infrastructure and devices inside the Duke Energy Envision Center in Erlanger, Ky. The Smart Grid Interop Lab is interoperable from multiple locations. It will initially be co-located at the Duke Energy Envision Center and at KEMA's Powertest Lab in Chalfont, Pa. KEMA will also offer smart grid testing and certification services independently to utilities and technology suppliers. The Interop Lab leverages KEMA's extensive global testing and certification expertise. It also draws from KEMA's Smart Grid Reference Architecture initiative, benchmarking existing utility smart grid architecture and interoperability roadmaps using NIST and industry standards.

The Interop Lab is designed to help utilities and technology suppliers understand the aggregate value of their smart grid components. Through testing and certification, the lab offers independent verification of device interoperability and validation of compliance of low-voltage automation devices, meters, and consumer products with evolving smart grid standards. The lab offers utilities and technology suppliers several unique capabilities, including:

  • a live and operational smart grid environment to test compliance of products and services with existing and new standards, as they evolve

  • the ability to test, individually or in combination, new products and services for compliance and interoperability with supplemental products and services

  • a controlled environment to develop and execute new test procedures and use-case scenarios in accordance with evolving NIST Smart Grid standards

  • a platform to provide training for smart grid system installations, operations, and diagnostics

"Applying digital communications technology to the existing power grid is an important step in the evolution of the energy industry and in consumers' ability to achieve sustainable energy efficiency in their homes and businesses," said David Mohler, Duke Energy's chief technology officer. "The success of smart grid in this nation depends on the technology being integrated safely and securely into the existing infrastructure, and KEMA's work at our Envision Center will give utilities and suppliers a living lab where they can test product functionality and benefits before rolling it out for consumers."

"The wide-scale adoption of smart grid interoperability standards is still in development. As is the on-going compliance validation of smart grid product performance to these standards," said Hugo van Nispen, KEMA managing director, Americas. "As such, many utility smart grid programs face exposure to critical risks by deploying new technologies and integrating them with existing technologies at an unprecedented scale and scope. Each utility faces a unique set of needs and challenges in implementing their smart grid initiatives. KEMA's Smart Grid Interop Lap provides independent testing of specific designs within a specific environment -- enabling flexibility and innovation within existing smart grid programs and configurations as NIST and industry stakeholders work to define a national smart grid interoperability framework."

About KEMA
Founded in 1927, KEMA (www.kema.com) is a global provider of business and technical consulting, operational support, measurement and inspection, testing and certification for the energy and utility industry. With world headquarters in Arnhem, the Netherlands, KEMA employs more than 1,700 professionals globally with offices and representatives in more than 20 countries. KEMA's Americas subsidiary is headquartered in Burlington, Mass., and serves energy clients throughout the Americas and Caribbean.

About Duke Energy
Duke Energy is one of the largest electric power holding companies in the United States. Its regulated utility operations serve approximately 4 million customers located in five states in the Southeast and Midwest, representing a population of approximately 11 million people. Its commercial power and international business segments own and operate diverse power generation assets in North America and Latin America, including a growing portfolio of renewable energy assets in the United States. Headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., Duke Energy is a Fortune 500 company traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol DUK. More information about the company is available on the Internet at: www.duke-energy.com.

For KEMA media contacts, visit: www.kema.com/press_releases.
For Duke Energy media contacts, visit: www.duke-energy.com/news/media-kit/mediacontacts.asp.