September 2021 message from sunspec leadership

Dear SunSpec Members,

Addressing new interconnection requirements–including those for advanced inverter electrical functions and corresponding data communication interfaces–is a recurring theme for SunSpec and its members. While some requirements are local, and therefore less urgent to address, at least two national markets, the U.S. and Australia, have implemented changes that have firm deadlines. Companies that meet these deadlines have the potential to reshape the market.

In the U.S., implementation of the IEEE 1547-2018 standard at the state level is set to occur during June-August of 2022 in about 35 states representing more than 80% of the distributed energy resource market. This means that vendors, integrators, and test laboratories have less than 12 months to prepare if they want to be first into the market. To support this effort, SunSpec has taken two actions that you should know about. 

First, in addition to supporting SunSpec Modbus interface certification, SunSpec Dashboard Plus Pack will soon include two new features:

  • Support for automation of IEEE 1547.1 functional testing via SunSpec Modbus

  • Automation capabilities for inverter laboratory equipment that required for IEEE 1547.1 testing. Equipment of this type includes power supplies that emulate the sun (DC input) and the grid (AC output/input), and high-speed analog/digital data acquisition devices. 

Second, SunSpec is enhancing its SunSpec Modbus certification program to enable members to receive multiple SunSpec certifications when it submits its equipment for testing at a SunSpec Authorized Test LaboratoryA typical set of SunSpec certifications is the combination of SunSpec Modbus for IEEE 1547-2018 and SunSpec Modbus general compliance (for implementations that include other SunSpec functionality). Implementations may also receive certification to future SunSpec profiles such as those for energy management systems.

Contact if you are interested to see a demonstration of SunSpec Dashboard Plus Pack and to learn more about licensing terms.

In 2020 Australia released the AZ 4777.2:2020 standard for smart invertersThis standard made it obvious that data communication is a necessary ingredient but left it open as to how to fulfill the need. Then in August of 2021, Australia released its adaptation of the Common Smart Inverter Profile (CSIP-Ausfor the IEEE 2030.5-2018 standard, thus answering the question of what the grid-operator-to-system network would be. 

To announce the availability of CSIP-Aus, and to discuss the governance, cybersecurity and Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) considerations of this profile, SunSpec hosted a three-hour workshop for Australian market participants that was attended by 120 people in Australia. A debt of gratitude is owed to SunSpec’s friends in Australia and we look forward to opening the market to SunSpec members. Part I of the session is available to view here

Finally, don’t forget that the 2021 Annual SunSpec Member Meeting is coming up on October 7th and it is virtual. This event is free for SunSpec members and will be followed by a SunSpec Modbus Workshop on October 8th, hosted by our principal engineer Bob Fox. Hope to see you there!

Kind regards,


Kind Regards,

Tom Tansy

SunSpec Alliance

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SunSpec Alliance is the information standards and certification organization for the Distributed Energy Resource (DER) industry. SunSpec communication standards address operational requirements of solar and energy storage on the smart grid.

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