Our extensive, reliable power grid has fueled the nation’s growth since the early 1900s. Access to electricity is such a fundamental enabler for the economy that the National Academy of Engineering named “electrification” the greatest engineering achievement of the 20th century. However, the grid we have today does not have the attributes necessary to meet the demands of the 21st century and beyond.

Through its Grid Modernization Initiative (GMI) and this Grid Modernization Multi-Year Program Plan (MYPP), the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) will coordinate a portfolio of activities to help set the nation on a cost-effective path to an resilient, secure, sustainable, and reliable grid that is flexible enough to provide an array of emerging services while remaining affordable to consumers. The scope of the GMI focuses on the development of new architectural concepts, tools, and technologies that measure, analyze, predict, protect, and control the grid of the future, and on enabling the institutional conditions that allow for more rapid development and widespread adoption of these tools and technologies. DOE will help frame new architecture elements, develop new planning and operations tools platforms, provide metrics and analytics, and enhance state and industry capabilities in designing the physical and regulatory models for successfully grid modernization. DOE will be supported by the National Laboratories under the Grid Modernization Lab Consortium (GMLC): a multi-year collaboration among 14 DOE National Laboratories and regional networks that will help develop and implement the MYPP.

This MYPP defines a vision for the modern grid and identifies key challenges and opportunities. The direction and priorities outlined in this MYPP draw upon DOE’s ongoing work on the Quadrennial Energy Review (QER) and the Quadrennial Technology Review (QTR), as well as DOE program activities and numerous private sector inputs over the past years. It describes the RD&D activities DOE will focus on over the next five years, including opportunities for public-private partnerships.