SunSpec Alliance teams with MESA Standards Alliance on ESS certification, testing program

smart solar inverter sunspec

The MESA Standards Alliance and the SunSpec Alliance formed a new joint testing and certification program for the MESA-Device specification. This is a strategic move for SunSpec as it allows SunSpec members to participate in “front-of-the-meter” and utility-scale applications. Vendors will now be able to receive certification via third-party authenticators, ensuring their products meet the requirements of this specification and will be interoperable with other certified components of energy storage systems (ESS).

A new Specification Compliance Verification Guide is now posted on the MESA and SunSpec websites describing the process to verify inverter compliance with the SunSpec Modbus-based MESA-Device.

“The MESA Standards Alliance prides itself on collaboration as it works toward the creation of open, non-proprietary specifications and information models that utilities, developers, and manufacturers alike can use to achieve interoperability in the storage industry. This milestone represents a significant step toward the ability to become Certified to the MESA-Device specification,” said Scott Gibson of Snohomish County Public Utility District, Chair of the MESA Board of Directors.

What’s this mean?

Compliance with the MESA-Device specification ensures greater interoperability among the components of the ESS (the inverter, power control system, and energy source (e.g., lithium-ion battery)) across the spectrum of distribution-connected Distributed Energy Resource (DER) scale ESS to large-scale transmission-connected ESS.

MESA, along with SunSpec member companies and strategic partners, was critical in working toward this milestone. The certification program and Specification Compliance Verification Guide will improve open standards in the industry and enhance interoperability while indicating compliance.

The process described in the Specification Compliance Verification Guide leverages the SunSpec certification program.

“MESA-Device enables interoperability amongst DER system components, and SunSpec’s certification program is central to the process for verifying inverter compliance with the specification. We are excited for what this means for the future of interoperability and DERs everywhere,” said Tom Tansy, Chairman of SunSpec Alliance.

The MESA Testing & Certification Work Group, led by Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, authored the Specification Compliance Verification Guide. In 2020-21 the Work Group will be creating a similar technical memo to address verifying compliance with the MESA-DER DNP3 specification, in support of streamlining integrating utility-scale ESS into utility control systems.

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