Graph showing stages of integrated resources use by year.
Full utilization of distributed energy resources will require advancements in the way we plan, operate, and design the electric grid.

The U.S. Department of Energy works closely with the electricity industry to identify challenges and proactively address grid transformation issues. Policies, changing customer preferences, and innovative technologies are all transforming power system planning and operations, particularly at the distribution grid.

The Office of Electricity has partnered with the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy to address challenges--including sharing guidance and best practices--in these key areas:

  • Integrated Distribution System Planning--This framework helps decisionmakers to develop holistic grid investment strategies that address community and state policies and increasing complexity at the grid edge.
  • Operational Coordination--The presence of distributed energy resources owned by multiple entities requires standard processes for coordinating grid operations.
  • Distribution System Design–-Determining future distribution system designs will require a holistic understanding of needed functional and structural requirements. 

DOE works closely with various organizations representing state officials to examine issues and advance best practices relating to distribution system transformation and grid-edge evolution.  Additional information, including reports and educational materials, are available from the Center for Partnerships & Innovation of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners.

Foundational Documents
Topic Description Date
Distributed System Evolution Outlines the three-stage progression of the distribution system to accommodate ever increasing levels of DER and electrification, including both technical and institutional considerations. 23-Nov