Update to the OpenADR Specification

Update to the OpenADR Specification

2022 has been an exciting time in the electricity industry with the planned introduction of new dynamic pricing in California, Hawaii and elsewhere, and the OpenADR Alliance has been actively considering how best to continue to support utilities, retailers, and customers, along with its core focus on members. 

A team of experts representing a cross section of the OpenADR community began discussing ideas for improvements to the specification in 2021. The ‘Profile Working Group’ began by collecting high-level concepts and comments and discussing them in a series of teleconferences. 

OpenADR is architected to support interoperability as the standard evolves. In this case, the scope of the proposed changes to the "b" profile was such that a new profile will be required. A task team has been working through a set of industry use cases developed by the Profile Working Group and preparing a proposal that will be reviewed by the entire OpenADR Alliance in the following months.

The impetus for revising OpenADR comes from several considerations. Use cases have changed and some that were originally envisioned as becoming popular have not been widely deployed. A diverse set of modification requests have been collected over the years. Software tools and concepts have evolved over the nearly 10 years since 2.0b was published, including the widespread adoption of RESTful API patterns and the subsequent obsolescence of SOAP-style web services as embodied in 2.0b. 

The overriding goal of the new initiative has been to foster wider and faster adoption of the protocol in order to meet the needs of electrical producers and consumers to lower costs, lessen environmental impacts, and improve overall grid reliability. We have sought to reduce real and perceived complexity, simplify implementation, and improve ‘plug-and-play’ interoperability. This is accomplished in part by updating features that were not optimally defined and removing unused features. At the same time new cases will be addressed such as in-building coordination and microgrid operations. 

The security model will be revisited to adopt current IT industry best practices and make onboarding VEN clients more streamlined. 

A goal is to future-proof the specification while maintaining the viability of existing 2.0a and 2.0b implementations. 

The working group has considered a number of topics including enhancements to reporting and events, price metadata, JSON message encoding and RESTful interactions as mentioned above. Topics discussed that may or may not have explicit support in the new version but may be supported implicitly or through other activities include enrollment services, common transactive services, TEMIX, inverters/DER, dynamic capacity management, and price server discovery. 


Another aspect that we are exploring is a better alignment with the IEC CIM model.

A modernized, streamlined OpenADR will help utilities and retailers develop DR programs more quickly and encourage a vast number of new VENs, representing a constellation of resources, to participate with minimal friction. 

More details should be forthcoming in 2023, on a TBD schedule.


The OpenADR Editing Team

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