IEEE 1547 Interconnection Working Group

IEEE SCC21 Working Group
(P1547 Draft Standard For Interconnection)
31 Jan -1 Feb 2002, Arlington, VA.

Held in conjunction with the DOE Distributed Power Program Review [covered in a separate UFTO Note]

Officially established by IEEE Standards and integrated into SCC21, the P1547 project was launched 4/99, and the Working Group (WG) has been on a fast track ever since to get a standard written and accepted by stakeholders in a wide-open consensus process. Relentlessly, meetings have been held 4-6 times a year, around the country.

Complete documentation of 1547 activities can be found at:

An excellent overview and current status as of last Oct can be found in a paper by Dick DeBlasio in the proceedings of the IEEE T&D Expo 2001 (Atlanta). [I have the pdf.]

In the last year, Draft #7 was voted on in March, and #8 by a ‘recirculation’ ballot in October. The voting showed interesting patterns; in particular utilities were divided right down the middle. Other constituencies are clearly in favor. There were two huge flurries of email among WG members debating various points, one just before the Oct ballot, and again just before this meeting. The goal now is to complete Draft #9 and to have a successful ballot on it.

Chairman Dick DeBlasio’s introductory remarks* and charge to the group outlined a key source of the problem–a long list of issues which are most likely not appropriate to deal with in a Technical Standard are nonetheless being brought up repeatedly. People with reservations about impacts on the grid, penetration levels, contractual issues, etc etc. continue, sincerely or otherwise, to raise and debate these issues in the WG. There was also a red herring over a minimum vs. maximum standard — opponents claimed that once enacted 1547 could only be made less restrictive and not more — the truth is that IEEE standards invariably undergo revision time and again, before the ink is dry. A cynic might wonder how much of this concern is sincere, how much is due to misinformation, and how much is simply raw tactics to block DG.

Another complicating factor for the 1547 effort–it is the very first case under IEEE’s newly introduced “open balloting”. This means that any IEEE member can jump in fresh to the process and cast a vote without having been involved in previous discussions. Standards committees have long endured repeat dialogues covering ground that’s been dealt with before, but ballots with anyone able to vote is much more problemmatic.

* This agenda document has the remarks which explain the approach:
* Also see the middle section of Dick’s presentation to the DPP meeting:

New Working Groups

IEEE Standard making recognizes the difference between “shall” and “should” and “may”, and produces three types of documents: Standards, Recommended Practices, and Guides, which reflect these different levels of influence. As many of the issues being piled on to 1547 are more appropriately dealt with the second or third type rather than the first, two new working groups have been established and a third has been proposed. The idea is to strip out of 1547 anything that belongs in a different document, e.g. procedures, applications guidance, safety, etc. (In sheer size, 1547 drafts began at over 500 pages; it’s been shrinking but it’s still far above a length appropriate to a IEEE Technical Standard.)

– IEEE SCC21 P1589 — Draft Standard for Conformance Tests Procedures For Equipment Interconnecting Distributed Resources With Electric Power Systems
– IEEE SCC21 P1608 — Draft Application Guide For “IEEE Draft Standard 1547 Interconnecting Distributed Resources With Electric Power Systems”
– Potential new SCC21 PAR for DR communication/control

(P1589 is also a Standard, but it separates issues of testing from the Standard itself. The numbering may be changed to 1547.1, 1547.2 and 1547.3, to reinforce the association among them.)

After DeBlasio’s opening remarks, the opening session of the WG meeting continued with presentations on the new initiatives. Each of these new working groups are recruiting members at the present time.

P1589 (1547.2) Standard on conformance testing will specify the types of tests to be done to demonstrate compliance with 1547.1, in particular at the factory producing equipment and at commissioning. (It would not deal with post-installation testing, which is a matter between business parties involved in a particular setting.) Contact Jim Daley, 973-966-2474,

P1608 (1547.3) Guide is to facilitate use of 1547, by providing characterizations of DG technologies. The development of this document will draw on dozens of existing resources, including 1547 resource materials, the 1001 IEEE standard for storage technology done in the 80’s (and withdrawn in ’98), various state procedures, utility handbooks, and other materials from EEI and EPRI. Contact Dick Friedman, 703-356-1300,

New Comm/Control (1547.3) Guide will cover equipment and systems for both remote on onsite monitoring and control of DG, supporting a wide variety of transactions among any DG stakeholders. It will include CHP and coordination with building or enterprise energy management systems. Contact Frank Goodman, 650-855-2872,

Back to Draft-Writing

The rest of the first session saw the start of a difficult process of reviewing Draft #8, section by section, going over suggested changes, and deciding which materials could be moved into one or the other of the new documents. It recalled the old saying about laws and sausages, with the added fun of wordsmithing by (very large) committee.

Over the next day and 1/2, significant progress was made, with lots of material removed from the Technical and Test sections and the appendices, for inclusion in 1589 and 1608. A “strawman” for Draft #9 is set for the writing committee to tackle in the next two months. (It was also announced that there will be some adds and drops to the writing committee roster.) A full WG meeting in June will, it is hoped be followed soon with the ballot.
Contact: Dick DeBlasio, 303-384-6452,
Tom Basso, 303-384-6765,

(For background about the start of this effort, see:
UFTO Note – IEEE Stds for DR Interconnection, 09 Jul 1999)

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