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The widespread use of multifunctional intelligent electronic devices (IEDs) with advanced communications capabilities has resulted in a new trend in substation automation systems, i.e. the implementation of high-speed peer-to-peer communications-based control schemes. The IEDs exchange messages over the substation local area network (LAN). A number of industry experts had observed that an unambiguous standard for network devices when installed in harsh environmental conditions in these substations did not exist. As a result, a task force (C2TF1) of the PES Substations Committee was formed. The task force C2TF1 adapts the four standards developed by Power System Relaying Committee (PSRC) for substation applications that do not involve protective relaying, which is now IEEE 1613 standard. They also chose to make the standard apply at the device, not system level. This paper presents the standard (IEEE 1613) developed by task force C2TF1 for communications networks in substation.