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In 2002, the consortium to support an electric infrastructure to support a digital society (CEIDS) launched a project to take the initial steps in developing an industry-wide reference architecture for distributed computing and connecting consumers to markets. The integrated energy and communications system architecture (IECSA) project applied the latest in systems engineering methods and tools to start the industry on a migration path to interoperable automation system development. The results of the project include a set of industry requirements for a variety of advanced applications ranging from wide area measurement and controls to ISO/RTO operations that can reach into consumer facilities and equipment. Through the use of systems engineering methods and advanced notation, the project developed a model of future industry operations that allowed the researchers to align requirements for advanced applications with emerging standards and technology development.