SunSpec Blockchain Work Group Launch Meeting

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Tuesday, October 29th
9:00 AM - 10:00 AM Pacific Time

Project Leader(s):

Jörg Brakensiek, CTO, Wivity Inc.


The charter of this work group is to create requirements and specifications for using blockchain technology to secure connected device credentials used in power grid communications. The result of this work group will be used to inform the development of a production blockchain and give recommendations to governing entities. Specifically, the work group will create a specification document for a decentralized application (DApp) and a requirements document for blockchain that will run the DApp.


CA Rule 21 has defined IEEE 2030.5 as the primary communication method between utilities and exporting distributed energy resources. Unfortunately, Rule 21 does not mandate all the security requirements of IEEE 2030.5, and IEEE 2030.5 itself does not address all the potential threats to the distributed power grid. In particular, IEEE 2030.5 does not specify policy to protect against supply chain attacks. The output of this work group is a solution that addresses this security hole.

Please refer to the document “Linen: a Blockchain-based Key Registry for Distributed Energy Resources” for further background reading.

Topics Covered

The work group scope will be creating requirements for a blockchain and may cover the following topics:

  • Security threats to the blockchain

  • Permissioned vs permissionless

  • Maturity requirements

  • Consensus protocol characteristics

  • Governance

  • Performance

  • Privacy

The DApp specification will address the following elements:

  • Problem definition and use cases

  • Market and regulatory requirements

  • Security credential provisioning

  • Data models and formats

  • Data access policies, e.g. privacy requirements

  • Role of auditors and security service providers

  • Tracking of device ownership and custody

  • Role of smart contracts

  • API definitions

The following topics are not in scope:

  • Blockchain consortium legal structure, if applicable

  • Blockchain protocol, including consensus mechanism

  • Definition of blockchain solutions outside the DER use case.

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