On April 17-20, 2017, DOE held its first annual Grid Modernization Peer Review and the report has recently been published to the DOE website. The review was structured around the six technical pillars, reflecting GMI’s Multi-year Program Plan (Grid MYPP), and contains the high-level findings from the first formal review of 30 Grid Modernization Laboratory Consortium (GMLC) projects. The 16 expert reviewers were drawn from across industry, academia, nonprofit organizations, and government.

Reviewers evaluated projects according to four weighted criteria alongside another criteria of written comments on their overall impressions (a fifth criteria, project relevance, was not weighted in the overall score as the projects’ scope, objectives, and goals were determined prior to project commencing). The four weighted evaluation criteria included:

  • Approach
  • Progress, Accomplishments, and Impact
  • Project Integration and Collaboration
  • Future work

Within the report there is a description of each project reviewed alongside reviewers’ overall comments and DOE follow up from reviewer feedback. The input from the peer review was instrumental in providing guidance for programmatic decision making and will also impact future budget and funding opportunity decisions.

The report also describes the broader portfolio discussions that occurred between the technical area lead, reviewers, project performers, and audience members after project reviews had concluded. The reviewers also attended a poster session at the start of the Peer Review where all GMLC project teams presented; these portfolio discussions allowed reviewers and staff to discuss the broader implications of the portfolio’s process (outside of the 30 projects reviewed) and discuss any potential gaps in project work could impede meeting Grid MYPP goals.

Additionally, the report includes a description of a post-Peer Review meeting held with lead peer reviewers for each technical area with DOE staff and GMLC Technical Leads to discuss lessons learned from the event to gauge initial reactions from reviewers and offer feedback on the event itself.

Keep an eye open for GMI’s second Peer Review later in 2018 in the Washington, D.C. region where the GMI community will continue to discuss project progress, collaboration, and future work.