GMI hosted its first Peer Review in April 2017, which presented the results of 88 grid modernization projects and formally reviewed 30 foundational projects across six technical areas. Patricia Hoffman, Acting Under Secretary for Science and Energy kicked off the Peer Review discussing the tremendous strides GMI has achieved in bringing the national laboratories and DOE together to begin developing the technology, resources and concepts needed to help reach the ambitious goals laid out in Grid Modernization Multi-Year Program Plan (Grid MYPP).
Senator Cory Gardner (Colorado) addressed participants via recorded remarks, and emphasized the economic need for a power system that is affordable, reliable, flexible, and resilient. Sen Gardner emphasized the importance of grid cybersecurity and the need for action to ensure its continued security. The morning’s keynote speaker, Subhash Paluru from the Western Area Power Administration (WAPA), discussed the challenges he and many other utilities face including aging infrastructure, renewable energy generation integration, and cyber and physical security. Addressing these challenges, he argued, will lead the way to opportunities, particularly stemming from public-private partnerships that can propel grid modernization into the future.
Later that morning, we heard from utilities, vendors, and state and local representatives regarding their vision for grid modernization over the next 10 years, as well as the challenges and opportunities associated with that vision. A summary of three panels are below:
• The Utility, Co-ops, and Grid Operators Panel discussed the trends utilities see and challenges they face with the current grid, particularly surrounding the complexity of how to affordably integrate new technologies and increasing distributed energy resources into the grid.
• The Vendor Panel explored the opportunity vendors see for growth and investment through the transition to a modernized grid. Panelists discussed using the new technologies to better engage with the customers, and to be quick adopters in a field that is increasingly competitive and fast-paced.
• The State and Local Panel discussed projects and policies within New Jersey and Connecticut, noting the work in microgrids and grid reliability in the face of extreme events and physical threats. This panel also offered a distinct voice from the consumer perspective, highlighting that consumer interest has been changing with the access to renewable energy, but that electricity remains a basic service for the majority of consumers. All panelists discussed the technology-institutional complexity facing local actors as they work on grid modernization projects and policies.Finally, the GMLC technical leads presented on their overall portfolio and how they worked to achieve the goals laid out in the Grid MYPP.
Following the opening day panels and presentations, the first day concluded with a poster session, a comprehensive exhibit of all 88 projects in the grid modernization lab call project portfolio. During days two and three, DOE formally reviewed 30 foundational projects. Throughout the peer review, it was clear that partnerships and the involvement of all stakeholders are paramount to achieving a modernized grid and to the success of the GMI and GMLC projects.
GMI Portfolio of Projects in Poster Format
GMI Peer Review Presentations
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