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The OGC and CEN/TC 287 announce Smart Grid location interoperability workshop

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Release Date: 
9 September 2011

9 September 2011 - The OGC and CEN/TC 287 invite participation in a workshop, "Smart Grid and Spatial Data Infrastructure - Interoperability Challenges Now and in the Future," to be held 6-7 October 2011 in Ispra, Italy. This workshop, sponsored by Sparx Systems, will be part of the EnviroInfo Ispra 2011 conference at the European Commission's Joint Research Centre.

Meeting European energy and climate change targets for 2020 requires a comprehensive program to make the electric power grid more reliable, flexible, secure, efficient and environmentally sustainable through the use of digital technologies.

Communicating geospatial information related to the grid must become much easier if Europe is to meet those targets. Every smart grid component - transformer, meter, air conditioner, power plant, electric car, solar panel, etc. - has a location on Earth. Every grid event or phenomenon - brown-out, demand variability, power surge, regulation, transmission loss, etc. - occurs within some time interval and at some location in space along the grid’s physical network. The same is true for every external event or phenomenon that affects the grid, such as weather alerts. Spatial parameters thus have a significant impact in every scenario affecting the grid. Furthermore, spatial information must pass easily between smart grid systems and systems in use in neighboring domains such as emergency response, disaster management, transportation, facilities energy management, surveying, civil engineering, hydrology and meteorology.

Globally, smart grid standards efforts are largely focused on standards from the International Electronic Commission (IEC) and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) that support the definition(s) of power distribution technologies. However, the communication of spatial information in grid applications is currently not standardized. To address this gap, the smart grid standards community must make standards from the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), the European Committee for Standardization (CEN) and the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) an integral part of the smart grid standards framework. A well-harmonised collection of standards from these organizations is already in use in the neighboring domains mentioned above, thanks in part to programs such as INSPIRE.

This workshop will review the current status of geospatial standards in the electric utility industry. It will provide an opportunity for members of this industry and the standards community to discuss a path forward to a standards framework that will leverage the significant contributions of the geospatial information technology industry in accelerating the critically important commercial rollout of smart grid systems and components.

For more information and to register for the workshop, see

Technical Committee 287 of the European Committee for Standardisation (CEN/TC 287 Geographic information) focuses on standardization in the field of digital geographic information for Europe. CEN is a business facilitator in Europe, removing trade barriers for European industry and consumers. Its mission is to foster the European economy in global trading, the welfare of European citizens and the environment. Through its services it provides a platform for the development of European Standards and other technical specifications. 

The OGC is an international consortium of more than 415 companies, government agencies, research organizations, and universities participating in a consensus process to develop publicly available geospatial standards. OGC Standards support interoperable solutions that "geo-enable" the Web, wireless and location-based services and mainstream IT. OGC Standards empower technology developers to make geospatial information and services accessible and useful with any application that needs to be geospatially enabled. Visit the OGC website at