IEC TC57 Industry Updates

IEC TC 57 WG 17 Update

DER at the edge of many domains

by Laurent Guise, France

IEC TC 57 WG 17 is in charge of power system intelligent electronic device communication and associated data models for microgrids, distributed energy resources and distribution automation.

TC 57 WG17 is still pursuing its standardization activities related to DER with very good momentum, and the more it works the more it appears to be at the edge of many other domains.

The IEC 61850-7-420, aiming at providing to the market a harmonized data model for support ing DER operation and grid integration, is getting closer and closer to a final draft.

However, at the same time, interactions with other entities appear to be highly needed:

  • Interaction with the CIM side: DER is an area where the border between what is supposed to remain at the edge and what is supposed to run remotely is almost impossible to predefine. Due to aggregation, the architecture of DERs is recursive. Consequently, seen for outside, there are limited differences between DERs and an Energy Resource not tagged as “Distributed.” The IEC WG19 has put in place an action to favor the convergence of principles between CIM and 61850 approaches
  • Interaction with Hydro Power plants: based on the above, it makes sense to try to apply the DER model concept as introduced in IEC 61850-7-420, onto Hydro power plant model as modelled through IEC 61850-7-410. Joint work is engaged between TC57 WG18 and WG17 in that direction
  • Interaction with Electric Vehicle and Smart Charging: “EV as a DER” is a huge challenge taking more and more importance, especially due to the impact of EVs on distribution networks. For the purpose TC 57 and TC 69 are jointly working on better characterizing the “grid” requirements to be considered by EV and smart charging systems, with the goal of harmonized approaches between deliverables.
  • Interaction with Building Management Systems: DER are more and more located within building with higher and higher incentive for auto consumption. This means that DER must also be part of building management ecosystems. TC 57 WG 17 is looking for opportunities to favor common modelling approaches with building related standardization.
  • Interaction with grid codes functions: the coming edition of IEC 618520-7-420 shows that most of grid code functions have a “data” perspective for setting, testing, operating these functions in a reliable and efficient way. This has been very well anticipated by IEEE 1547, and shall be better coordinated with IEC TC 8 JWG10 (together other TCs), in charge of establishing the IEC 62786 related to grid code functions. In order to facilitate the transposition of IEC 61850-7-420 for supporting IEEE 1547, WG 17 should soon launch specific profiling activities.
  • Interaction with VPP and microgrids is also making more and more sense. IEC TC 57 WG 17 has already initiated some work in the coming Ed 2 of IEC 61850-7-420, for supporting aggregation, and with IEC 61850-90-23 for supporting microgrids. However, this needs to be coordinated with IEC SC 8B and the coming deliverables on both subjects (the IEC 63189 on VPPs, and 62898 on microgrids)

As a conclusion, many links are already in place, and many are still to be set up. At the end, our collective challenge remains: de-silo, de-silo, de-silo!


Laurent Guise graduated from the Ecole Supérieure d’Electricité (ESE SUPELEC Engineering school) and has been working for Schneider Electric in electrical network protection, monitoring and control systems for more than 20 years. Within Schneider-Electric, Laurent has been awarded the distinction of a Master Expert in Smart Grids and IEC 61850. He is leading, at the corporate level, the definition, coordination, and implementation of the smart grid standardization policy. Laurent is the convener of IEC TC 57 WG 17 in charge of feeder automation based on the leading IEC 61850 standard. He also leads the group in charge of the IEC roadmap within the IEC Smart Energy System Committee. At the European level, he chairs the CEN-CENELEC-ETSI Smart Grid Coordination Group in charge of ensuring the availability of the appropriate set of standards to support smart grid deployment in Europe.