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Designed to provide current and future engineers

working in the distributed energy industry with the skills necessary to design products that incorporate secure communication networking and deploy networks that incorporate these products. The course will also cover considerations associated with integrating the operations of utilities and network aggregates.

People with different backgrounds will experience different learning outcomes. For electrical engineers specializing in computing and data communication, the course will impart knowledge pertaining to Distributed Energy Resource (DER) physical functions and their relationship to communication protocols. For electrical engineers specializing in power engineering will impart knowledge pertaining to information protocols and how they map to physical functions. For others, the course will impart a basic understanding of power engineering and data communication in the DER domain.

Course Highlights:

  • Distributed Energy Resources (DER) Overview
  • U.S. Distribution Grid Standards
  • Distributed Energy Resources in California
  • Communication Protocols for DER
  • IEEE 2030.5 - I & II
  • Common Smart Inverter profile (CSIP)
  • Cybersecurity for California Rule 21
  • Product Testing and Certification

Course Learning Outcomes:
By course completion students will understand and identify:

  • Distributed Energy Resource (DER) market opportunity framework.
  • Grid standards and DER Functions relevant to U.S and non-U.S. markets.
  • DER functions relevant to California and other U.S. markets.
  • Popular communication protocols for DER in the U.S.
  • Communication and cybersecurity requirements for California Rule 21.
  • Product testing and certification requirements for California Rule 21 Product Compliance.
  • Considerations for deploying secure DER compliant networks to California Rule 21 requirements.

Required Textbooks:

  • Common Smart Inverter Profile (CSIP) - Available from SunSpec Alliance.
  • SunSpec Common Smart Inverter Profile Test Procedures - Available from SunSpec Alliance.
  • SunSpec DER Information Model and UL1741 Supplement SA Interoperability Report - Available from SunSpec Alliance.

Course Typically Offered: TBD

Prerequisite: N/A

Next Step: After completing this course, consider taking other courses in the Power Systems Engineering certificate program.

Contact: For more information about this course, please email

Course Number: EE-40179
Credit: 3.00 unit(s)
Related Certificate Programs: Power Systems Engineering