NEW YORK, Jan. 24, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The American National Standards Institute (ANSI), coordinator of the U.S. standards and conformity assessment system, is playing a key role in the national push for a robust, reliable, and interoperable smart grid for the United States. Ranking among the Obama Administration's top priorities for the nation, the smart grid is a planned nationwide network that integrates information and communication technologies, enabling two-way flows of energy and communications to deliver electricity efficiently, reliably, and securely.
Taking the next step forward in the grid's development, the Smart Grid Interoperability Panel (SGIP) – a joint effort of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the private sector – released today version 2.0 of the testing and certification framework for the North American electric power industry. Developed with input from ANSI, the framework lays out a plan to enhance the quality of secure and interoperable smart grid products and significantly reduce their installation cost in the smart grid.
The Interoperability Process Reference Manual (IPRM) details processes and procedures for increasing market confidence in products through testing and certification, especially third-party assessment services providing quality assurance to purchasing organizations.
As the first U.S. signatory to the International Accreditation Forum (IAF) Multilateral Recognition Arrangement (MLA) for product certification, ANSI has committed to support the implementation of the IPRM Framework as an internationally recognized accrediting organization.
ANSI accreditation offers a formal, third-party process for review and recognition of certification programs. The international standard, ISO/IEC Guide 65, General requirements for bodies operating product certification systems, forms the cornerstone of ANSI's accreditation process for product certification programs.
"The SGIP testing and certification committee is very pleased that ANSI Is offering accreditation services to support the implementation of the IPRM V2 facilitating enhanced product quality across the electric power industry," said Rik Drummond, chair of the SGIP Testing and Certification Committee.
"Accreditation by ANSI enhances the credibility and value of this interoperability process by attesting to the competence and qualifications of certification bodies," said Lane Hallenbeck, ANSI vice president for accreditation services. "The Institute brings many years of experience and broad government recognition in delivering quality accreditation programs. As the nation takes steps to modernize the grid, ANSI looks forward to contributing its expertise in supporting the integrity of this important national priority."
ACLASS, a subsidiary of the ANSI-ASQ National Accreditation Board, will also support implementation of the IPRM as an accreditor of testing and calibration laboratories against ISO/IEC 17025, General requirements for the competence of testing and calibration laboratories. The ANSI-ASQ National Accreditation Board is a member of the IAF and the International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (ILAC), and is a signatory of the IAF and ILAC multilateral recognition arrangements. For more information about ACLASS, visit www.aclasscorp.com.
The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) is a private non-profit organization whose mission is to enhance U.S. global competitiveness and the American quality of life by promoting, facilitating, and safeguarding the integrity of the voluntary standardization and conformity assessment system. Its membership is comprised of businesses, professional societies and trade associations, standards developers, government agencies, and consumer and labor organizations. The Institute represents the diverse interests of more than 125,000 companies and organizations and 3.5 million professionals worldwide. The Institute is the official U.S. representative to the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and, via the U.S. National Committee, the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), and is a U.S. representative to the International Accreditation Forum (IAF).
ANSI's portfolio of third-party accreditation services assess the competence of organizations that certify products and personnel; validation/verification bodies engaged in the reduction and removal of greenhouse gases; and organizations that issue education and training certificates to U.S. workers. For more information about the Institute's accreditation services, visit www.ansi.org/accreditation.
SOURCE American National Standards Institute