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Transmission lines in the sunset

A Message from GMI Leads Bill Parks and Kevin Lynn

The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Grid Modernization Initiative is a critically important undertaking. In the words of Secretary Moniz, “The United States’ energy system is going through dramatic changes. This places a high premium on investing wisely in the energy infrastructure we need to move energy supplies to energy consumers.” We’re proud that DOE and the DOE National Laboratories have come together to build a new culture looking at the grid from a holistic perspective through the GMI.

Thanks to the hard work of staff across DOE offices and national laboratories, the GMI Multi-Year Program Plan (MYPP) was developed to outline the goals and strategies for how the DOE could take to best enable grid modernization efforts. A charter was developed to outline how the national laboratories could pool resources and talent to achieve these needs, establishing the Grid Modernization Laboratory Consortium (GMLC). We launched 88 projects under the GMLC in 2016 and heard from program managers and principal investigators on the progress they’ve already made in our first Program Review in November/December 2016. Work done in GMLC projects has already resulted in two provisional and one non-provisional patent filings – in addition to multiple papers, roadmaps, strategy documents, publications, and conference presentations. We expect more great work to follow in 2017!

We traveled the country to talk with over 450 stakeholders across six regional workshops this year as well, learning more about the regional needs for a modern grid and how DOE could play a role.

We wanted to thank everyone for their hard work in this inaugural year to take the GMI MYPP from strategy to on-the-ground research and development. This cross-cutting initiative is more important than ever before in a world of rapid technological changes and cybersecurity challenges. We believe that thanks to your work, we will help bring about a modern grid that is resilient, reliable, flexible, secure, and sustainable.

Looking forward to 2017, we’re excited to see the impacts and lessons learned from our shorter-term awards under the GMLC, including several promising Regional Demonstration projects that demonstrated significant progress at the Program Review in November 2016. We’re excited to see our GMLC projects continue to learn from each other, their partners, and industry – especially in several events they are hosting that will be open to the public (check out the calendar below for more information).

In April 2017, we’re looking forward to seeing many of you at our first Peer Review, where our program staff, independent experts, national laboratory researchers, industry partners, and policy makers will come together to review progress made on our project portfolio, including the critical next steps identified in the November/December 2016 Program Review. We’re also exploring the potential to offer joint future funding activities that will focus on grid modernization research needs.