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MESA Standards Alliance Publishes Specification for Utility Control of Grid Scale Energy Storage

November 15, 2016

The MESA Standards Alliance (MESA) has released the first draft of a protocol for communications between utility control centers and energy storage systems (ESS). The open, non-proprietary specification, referred to as MESA-ESS, provides a standard framework for utility-scale ESS data exchanges. Specifically, the draft addresses ESS configuration management, ESS operational states, and the applicable ESS functions from the IEEE 1815 (DNP3) profile for advanced distributed energy resources (DER).

“MESA-ESS enables electric utilities or grid operators to scale deployment of energy storage and manage energy storage assets and fleets of multi-vendor assets to meet specific needs and use cases with minimal custom engineering,” said Mike Rowand, Director of Technology Development at Duke Energy and MESA’s Board Chair. “As energy storage systems multiply on utilities systems, MESA’s work will greatly reduce the complexity of managing these distributed assets.”

The MESA-ESS specification is an important step in supporting the use of non-proprietary communication standards, promoting interoperability, and minimizing the amount of non-recurring engineering that is required to integrate an ESS into utility control systems using DNP3. The draft specification was developed by a technical work group of MESA members, partners, and staff over the last 18 months based on the work by the DNP Users Group. MESA’s draft specification can be downloaded for review and testing; utilities, vendors, and other stakeholders are encouraged to provide feedback for incorporation into future versions. Additionally, this work will feed into a larger effort to update the existing DNP3 Application Note on distributed energy and storage, which is expected to be completed in 2017.

“MESA’s work to standardize energy storage system communication requirements builds upon and complements previous efforts in this area. This is an important body of work for the Users Group to consider as we update the DNP3 Application Note,” said Ron J. Farquharson, President for the DNP Users Group. “We appreciate MESA’s efforts to jumpstart the process to improve communications for storage systems and we look forward to continuing the collaboration.”

More information and the draft specification can be found at The Technical Work Group will be accepting public input throughout 2017 and subsequent drafts and updates will be posted on MESA’s website. For more information about the DNP Users Group visit:

About the MESA Standards Alliance

The MESA (Modular Energy Storage Architecture) Standards Alliance is an industry group of 25+ vendors and utilities whose mission is to accelerate the growth of the energy storage industry through the development of an open, non-proprietary set of specifications and standards for energy storage systems. Founded in 2014, MESA is advancing a new, component-based approach to energy storage that gives electric utilities more choice and allows battery, power converter, and software manufacturers to reach more customers and reduce costs. For more information about MESA or to join MESA and participate in developing standards for the energy storage industry, visit

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