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4 min read

Industrial Internet Consortium Announces Smart Grid Testbed

Real-Time Innovations, National Instruments, and Cisco working with CPS Energy, Southern California Edison, Duke Energy, and SGIP to optimize power generation and integration of renewable energy sources to electrical grids

Reston, VA—March 26, 2015—The Industrial Internet Consortium® announces its first energy-focused testbed: the Communication and Control Testbed for Microgrid Applications. Industrial Internet Consortium member organizations Real-Time Innovations (RTI), National Instruments, and Cisco, are collaborating on the project, working with power utilities CPS Energy and Southern California Edison. Additional industry collaborators include Duke Energy and the power industry organization – Smart Grid Interoperability Panel (SGIP).

Today's power grid relies on a central-station architecture not designed to interconnect distributed and renewable power sources such as roof-top solar and wind turbines. The system must over-generate power to compensate for rapid variation in power generation or demands. As a result, much of the benefit of renewable energy sources in neighborhoods or businesses is lost. Efficiently integrating variable and distributed generation requires architectural innovation.

The goal of the Communication and Control Testbed is to introduce the flexibility of real-time analytics and control to increase efficiencies in this legacy process – ensuring that power is generated more accurately and reliably to match demand. This testbed proposes re-architecting electric power grids to include a series of distributed microgrids which will control smaller areas of demand with distributed generation and storage capacity. These microgrids will operate independently from the main electric power grid but will still interact and be coordinated with the existing infrastructure.

The testbed participants will work closely with Duke Energy, which recently published a distributed intelligence reference architecture, as well as SGIP to help ensure a coordinated, accepted architecture based on modern, cross-industry industrial internet technologies. The Communications and Control framework will be developed in three phases that will culminate in a field deployment that will take place at CPS Energy's "Grid-of-the-Future" microgrid test area in San Antonio, Texas. The initial phases will be tested in Southern California Edison's Controls Lab in Westminster, CA. Below you'll find a list of quotes from the partners of the Industrial Internet Consortium and its members on the Communication and Control Testbed.

"The smart grid is a critical infrastructure component of the Industrial Internet of Things," said Stan Schneider, RTI CEO and IIC Steering Committee member. "The IIoT will span industries, sensor to cloud, power to factory, and road to hospital. This key first step will address a significant barrier to the efficient use of green energy."

"Grid operators manage a vast infrastructure of generation, transmission and distribution systems. We believe microgrids offer a path forward to address the communication, load, and generation challenges facing today's grid system," said Jamie Smith, Director of Embedded Systems, National Instruments. "With this testbed, we are bringing together our expertise to help push the industrial internet forward by working on the architecture for the grid of tomorrow."

"Analytics and controls are essential for a successful energy transition, addressing limited scalability and renewables, siloed networks, rigid controls and slow human intervention," said Kip Compton, VP/GM, Internet of Things Systems and Software Group, Cisco. "Cisco is proud to take part in the deployment of this energy-centric testbed, combining real-time analytics on a highly secure microgrid architecture, for a reliable and efficient grid of the future."

The members of the Industrial Internet Consortium announced the Communications and Control testbed at the Consortium's one-year anniversary celebration in Reston, VA. To learn more about the Communication and Control Testbed for Microgrid Applications, visit

About the Industrial Internet Consortium

The Industrial Internet Consortium is an open membership organization with 147 members from 21 countries, formed to accelerate the development, adoption, and wide-spread use of interconnected machines and devices, intelligent analytics, and people at work. Founded by AT&T, Cisco, General Electric, IBM, and Intel in March 2014, the Industrial Internet Consortium catalyzes and coordinates the priorities and enabling technologies of the Industrial Internet. Visit

About RTI

RTI provides the connectivity platform for the Industrial Internet of Things.

RTI Connext messaging software forms the core nervous system for smart, distributed applications. RTI Connext allows devices to intelligently share information and work together as one integrated system. RTI was named "The Most Influential Industrial Internet of Things Company" in 2014 by Appinions and published in Forbes.

Our customers span the breadth of the Internet of Things, including medical, energy, mining, air traffic control, trading, automotive, unmanned systems, industrial SCADA , naval systems, air and missile defense, ground stations, and science. The total value of system designs that trust RTI for their fundamental architecture exceeds $1 trillion.

RTI is committed to open standards, open community source and open architecture. RTI provides the leading implementation of the Object Management Group (OMG) Data Distribution Service (DDS) standard.

RTI is the world's largest embedded middleware provider, privately held and headquartered in Sunnyvale, California.

About National Instruments

Since 1976, National Instruments has made it possible for engineers and scientists to solve the world's greatest engineering challenges with powerful, flexible technology solutions that accelerate productivity and drive rapid innovation. Customers from a wide variety of industries – from healthcare to automotive and from consumer electronics to particle physics – use NI's integrated hardware and software platform to improve the world we live in. National Instruments has been a member of the Industrial Internet Consortium since June 2014.

About Cisco

Cisco (NASDAQ: CSCO) is the worldwide leader in IT that helps companies seize the opportunities of tomorrow by proving that amazing things can happen when you connect the previously unconnected. For ongoing news, please go to

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Quotes From the Partners of the Industrial Internet Consortium and Its Members on the Communication and Control Testbed

"CPS Energy's Grid of the Future and microgrid sites provide us with hands-on experience using the latest technologies to provide security, analytics, and interoperability to our distribution system – bridging the gap between today's smart grid technologies and the promise of the industrial internet of things," said Raiford Smith, VP, Corporate Development and Planning, CPS Energy. "At CPS Energy, we are focused on providing our customers with innovative solutions to meet their needs while providing affordable, reliable electric and gas service."

"SGIP securely accelerates and advances Grid Modernization through interoperability," said Sharon Allan, CEO of SGIP. "Testbeds are means, by working together with leading industry players, to prove out interoperability as we accelerate viable, sustainable options for energy delivery."

"SCE's Controls Lab houses one of the only fully simulated grid environments in North America," said Andy Paylan, lead engineer in Southern California Edison's Advanced Technology group. "Our labs test many grid technologies in various phases of the development cycle and it will serve the consortium well for the Communication and Control Testbed to go through simulations in the Control Lab before technology is deployed on the grid."