In the days immediately following the State of the Union, Cabinet officials are embarking on the “State of the Union: Cabinet In Your Community” road tour to engage Americans in small towns, big cities and Indian country about the advancements the Administration has made on the most important issues facing the American people, as well as the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead. The President made clear in his State of the Union address that the true test is not the challenges we face, but how we approach those challenges. That’s why he and his Cabinet will keep their feet on the gas in this final stretch to continue driving toward solutions that will move this country forward for generations to come, while highlighting the progress that has been made over the past seven years.


Our nation’s electric grid is the backbone of our economy, a key factor in future economic growth, and a critical component of our energy security. Modernizing and revitalizing our electric grid to make it is easier to bring online renewable source of energy is top priority for President Obama.

Through the Recovery Act, the Department of Energy invested more than $4.5 billion in modernizing the grid. This included more than $3.3 billion in smart grid technology deployment and an additional $685 million in smart grid regional and energy storage demonstration projects. As a result of these investments, the nation’s grid is now more reliable, resilient, flexible, efficient, and secure.  In Tennessee, for example, as a result of Chattanooga’s Smart Grid Investment Grant (SGIG) project, reliability increased by 45 percent. In Georgia, an electric cooperative deployed advanced metering infrastructure under the SGIG program, and reduced its operational costs by 65 percent. Service is restored faster after weather-related grid outages and emissions have been reduced. In addition, consumers are now able to better manage their own consumption, saving money and electricity.

To complement these activities, the Department of Energy today unveiled new steps in its Grid Modernization Initiative – a new effort to make our nation’s electrical power grid more affordable, resilient, and sustainable. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz announced two components of the initiative today while visiting a utility control center in Miami, FL: a Multi-Year Program Plan (MYPP); and up to $220 million over three years in funding, subject to congressional appropriations, for 88 innovative and cross cutting research and development grid technology projects led by 14 of DOE’s National Labs, in coordination with public and private-sector partners.

Grid Modernization Initiative and Multi-Year Program Plan

  • The Grid Modernization Initiative (GMI) is helping to shape the future of our nation’s grid by addressing the challenges of integrating conventional and renewable sources while building on the investments of the Obama Administration and providing a critical platform for U.S. prosperity, competitiveness, and innovation in a global clean energy economy.
  • The DOE Grid Modernization Multi-Year Program Plan (MYPP) falls under the GMI and was developed by DOE in close collaboration with a wide range of key external partners. The program lays out a blueprint for the Department’s research, development, and demonstration agenda to enable a modernized grid.  It builds on concepts and recommendations from DOE’s recently released Quadrennial Energy Review and Quadrennial Technology Review.
  • Rapidly advancing the nation’s electric grid over the next several decades will require an integrated, systems approach. Through these grid modernization, the Department will help drive new grid architecture design elements, develop new planning and real-time operations platforms, provide metrics and analytics to improve grid performance, and enhance government and industry capabilities needed for successful grid modernization.

Grid Modernization Lab Call Project Selections

  • The Grid Modernization Initiative will provide up to $220 million over three years, subject to congressional appropriations, to the DOE’s Grid Modernization Laboratory Consortium (GMLC). This funding will support 88 research and development projects at 14 of the Department’s National Laboratories and a wide array of partners from industry, academia, and state and local governments. This funding is designed to support foundational research, advance innovative cross-cutting R&D in grid technologies, and develop pioneering regional partnerships.
  • This funding will support critical technology research and development in the integration of grid devices such as advanced energy storage, electric vehicles, and solar systems.
  • This first set of GMLC projects includes more than 100 partners, including 24 utilities and power producers, 10 reliability organizations, 25 tech developers and vendors, 15 universities and research institutes, 9 federal agencies, 6 state agencies and public utility commissions, 15 industry and professional associations, 5 policy and regulatory associations and 14 standards organizations and testing companies.
  • The core activities of these projects focus on grid architecture, interoperability, fundamental metrics to evaluate national progress, and sensing strategy―a strategy for observing and monitoring the future grid system in a way that meets expectations for predictive control, real-time operations, and security.

Department of Energy Grid Modernization Achievements

  • The Department of Energy has driven electric-grid modernization and resiliency in the energy infrastructure to help ensure a resilient, reliable, and flexible electricity system through research, partnerships, facilitation, modeling and analytics, and emergency preparedness.
  • DOE’s Grid Modernization Initiative represents a DOE-wide collaboration, with primary funding support coming from the Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability and the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.
  • The Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability recently completed more than 330 Recovery Act projects. Technologies rolled out with Recovery Act funding included over 1,300 Phasor Measurement Units, advanced devices that help keep the electric system more stable, over 16.6 million meters that automatically report outages and give consumers better information, and batteries that store excess energy when the wind is blowing and make it available to the grid later in order to meet customer demand.
  • Part of grid modernization is increasing resilience and security. The Department of Energy is committed to protecting the nation’s energy critical infrastructure, including the electric power grid, from disruptions caused by natural and manmade events, including severe weather, geomagnetic storms, and physical and cyber attacks.
  • The Department of Energy continues to invest in critical cybersecurity research and development to provide the industry with technology options it can use to help protect the energy infrastructure. Over the past five years, the Department has invested more than $150 million in collaborative cybersecurity research and development projects among industry, universities, and our national labs.  

For more information please visit Read the press release here.