ABB urges industry collaboration, acceleration of Smart Grid standards development in U.S.

2009-05-20 - ABB North America CEO Santacana seeks greater urgency in creating open standards at Smart Grid Leadership meeting in Washington, D.C.

Washington, D.C., May 19, 2009 – ABB, the leading power and automation technology company, announced that Enrique Santacana, President and CEO of ABB in North America, participated with a select group of power executives at a special Smart Grid Leadership meeting called by U.S. Secretary of Energy Dr. Steven Chu and Commerce Secretary Gary Locke, this week in Washington, D.C.

Santacana called for greater collaboration within the industry and with government leaders, as well as a greater sense of urgency among all stakeholders in creating new industry-wide open standards for smart grid development in the United States and elsewhere.

“We believe that development and adoption of open protocols and systems are necessary for the U.S. to properly develop the emerging Smart Grid,” said Santacana. “ABB’s extensive global experience, combined with innovative products, systems and technologies, can clearly help to provide direction and guide this effort. This challenge will require a greater collaboration and sense of urgency from all stakeholders, and we are certainly willing to play our part.”

The Smart Grid Leadership meeting was a kickoff to this week’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Interim Smart Grid Standards Interoperability Roadmap Summit. NIST has been charged with coordinating standards bodies for the Smart Grid. ABB participated in the first NIST workshop in April, and is sending seven global power experts to participate in this week’s roadmap-working sessions.

ABB’s History of Standards Leadership
ABB is active in technical standards’ committees with the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) and the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA), helping to develop cross-border power industry technical standards. Santacana was instrumental in setting up a new NEMA Smart Grid Advisory Council made up of the major electric power components and systems manufacturers.

Santacana also sits on the U.S. Department of Energy’s prestigious Electric Advisory Council (EAC).

IEC 61850 Standards
ABB has been actively involved in the development and adoption of IEC 61850, the first international standard for electric power device communication interoperability. ABB established the first manufacturer’s IEC 61850 system verification center qualified by the UCA International User’s Group, which consists of 98 member companies from 29 countries.

All ABB transmission and distribution protection and control devices used in substation and distribution automation devices such as relays, communication gateways and substation controllers, go through a vigorous testing to ensure compliance to the IEC 61850 standard. ABB has the largest installed base of IEC 61850 devices globally, extending to more than 600 electric power systems in 57 countries.

As announced by DOE Secretary Chu and Commerce Secretary Locke on Monday, IEC 61850 will serve as the initial smart grid interoperability standard for substation automation and protection.

About ABB
ABB ( is a leader in power and automation technologies that enable utility and industry customers to improve their performance while lowering environmental impact. The ABB Group of companies operates in around 100 countries and employs about 120,000 people. The company's North American operations, headquartered in Cary, North Carolina, employ about 15,000 people in 20 manufacturing and other major facilities.

For more information, please contact:
ABB Media Relations
Bill Rose
919.807.5743 - office
919.244.4879 - mobile - email

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