MultiSpeak Initiative Launches Version 4.0.0 of the MultiSpeak Software Integration Specification

ARLINGTON, VIRGINIA, February 3, 2009 -- The MultiSpeak® Initiative today released MultiSpeak Version 4.0.0, a major enhancement to its software integration specification.

As policymakers call for the creation of a “smart grid” and enhanced interoperability in the utility sector, the MultiSpeak specification offers a way forward. By moving to a bus architecture, Version 4.0.0 (Version 4) will be significantly easier for utilities and software vendors to implement. The change will also facilitate efforts to harmonize MultiSpeak with standards developed by Technical Committee 57 of the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) for use by transmission and wholesale power utilities.

The MultiSpeak specification, a project initiated by the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) for the over 800 electric distribution co-ops, originated almost a decade ago as a set of specifications enabling the integration of automation software. Since 2003, MultiSpeak has provided integration solutions for operations systems, including smart meters, SCADA and GIS. Over 300 utilities, including electric cooperatives, municipal utilities and investor-owned utilities in the Unites States as well as a number of utilities in North America and Europe, are using interfaces developed in consultation with the 45 vendors who make up the MultiSpeak Initiative.

“For almost 10 years, the MultiSpeak Initiative has been helping put cooperatives in the vanguard of utilities implementing Smart Grid technologies. According to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, cooperatives lead the industry in the deployment of advanced meter infrastructure. With the introduction of Version 4, larger and international utilities will be able to benefit from this effort,” says Bob Saint, MultiSpeak program manager at NRECA.

Benefits of Version 4

  • MultiSpeak Version 4 adds support for work management and automatic vehicle location systems to the already mature standards-based integration framework supporting nearly all Smart Grid technology applications of interest in distribution utilities or the distribution unit of vertically-integrated utilities. 

  • Version 4 adds enhanced interfaces for AMI and meter data management systems, including support for gas and water metering. 

  • Version 4 adds complete support for the exchange of engineering device and construction catalogs. This addition permits the complete definition of complex power system models and supports conversion of engineering models between compliant engineering analysis software packages. 

  • In addition to its Version 3.0-style transmission power system model, Version 4.0.0 also provides an optional transmission system model that complies with the requirements of the Common Power System Model (CPSM) profile of the Common Information Model (CIM). CIM and CPSM are standards issued by Technical Committee 57 of the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC). The MultiSpeak Initiative and member software vendors plan to test this new CPSM-compatible transmission model for interoperability with CPSM-compliant applications at a formal CIM interoperability test in late 2009.

  • Another key enhancement in Version 4 is internationalization. Version 4 includes support for: (i) international standard telephone numbers and postal addressing, (ii) a wide variety of units for describing measures, including both English and metric units, and (iii) support for currencies expressed in any of the ISO 4217 currency codes. Such internationalization will facilitate the use of MultiSpeak-compatible interfaces by utilities outside of the United States.

Bob Saint, MultiSpeak Program Manager, 703-907-5863
To obtain more information about the MultiSpeak specification, visit

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