MORGAN HILL, Calif. - The formation of the OpenADR Alliance, a nonprofit corporation created to foster the development, adoption, and compliance of a smart grid standard known as Open Automated Demand Response (OpenADR), has been announced. According to the alliance, smart grid standards for automated demand response (Auto-DR) will ultimately lower the cost, improve the reliability, and accelerate the speed of Auto-DR and smart grid implementations across the United States.

Auto-DR encourages businesses and homeowners to reduce their electricity consumption at peak demand times, or in response to changes in market price, by automating message delivery from the utility directly to the customer. OpenADR standardizes a message format used for Auto-DR so that dynamic price and reliability signals can be delivered in a uniform and interoperable data model among utilities, Independent System Operators (ISOs), and customers’ energy management and control systems.

Like all smart grid standards, OpenADR adoption is expected to help accelerate implementation of smart grid technologies by enabling key benefits for utilities, vendors, consumers, and other stakeholder groups by:

• Lowering costs: Standardization will help lower production, service, and maintenance costs for vendors, and ultimately, their utility customers. Lower costs will also accelerate technology innovation and enhance product choice.

• Assuring compliance: Vendor technologies that conform to a uniform standard will reduce utility costs associated with compliance testing, integration, and deployment, while creating more technology options for power companies exploring Auto-DR.

• Improving reliability: Auto-DR has proven effective in achieving a more reliable and higher performing grid by helping shave peak electricity demand. Standardizing a message format would further improve interoperability, efficiency, and reliability of Auto-DR systems.

The OpenADR Alliance said it will foster the collaboration necessary among industry stakeholders to ensure the rapid deployment of OpenADR - a price-and reliability-based demand response communication specification. National standards work will be built upon the OpenADR specifications published by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) and funded by the California Energy Commission’s Public Interest Energy Research (PIER) program. OpenADR is being further developed through the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s (NIST’s) smart grid standards effort, along with organizations including: Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards (OASIS), the Utilities Communications Architecture International User’s Group (UCAIug), and the North American Energy Standards Board (NAESB).

“Grounded in the standards activities initiated by Berkeley Lab in 2002, the OpenADR Alliance will play a central role in accelerating the adoption of Auto-DR and rapidly advancing our power grid into the 21st century,” said Mary Ann Piette, research director for PIER Demand Response Research Center (DRRC) at Berkeley Lab. “Only through interoperable technology standards can we implement smart grid solutions with the reliability, cost-effectiveness, and guaranteed compliance necessary for broad market acceptance. The OpenADR Alliance will implement processes to quickly bring this commercially proven standard to market.”

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Publication date:11/15/2010