Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy

Reinventing the National Power Grid

January 22, 2016

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The Energy Department is taking steps to begin modernizing the U.S. power grid to adapt to the changing energy needs of consumers.

The Energy Department is taking steps to begin modernizing the U.S. power grid to adapt to the changing energy needs of consumers.

America’s power grid – while reliable today – needs a 21st century facelift, not only to accommodate the nation’s unfolding economic and security needs, but to achieve U.S. clean energy goals for a safe, affordable, domestic supply of electricity.

The Energy Department’s Grid Modernization Initiative (GMI) is up to the challenge, embarking on a 10-year journey to reduce supply risks, streamline energy load, and develop real-time incident response and protection against threats. The Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) is working closely with the Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability to ensure a resilient supply of electricity to meet America’s changing energy needs for this century.

As GMI faces the challenges associated with integrating renewable energy technologies, Kevin Lynn, its director for EERE, says that this juncture will also introduce “new opportunities to transform our grid into a platform for greater prosperity, growth and innovation.”

Meet Kevin Lynn in this issue of Amped Up! – EERE’s newsletter – and learn more about the key trends driving our nation’s grid transformation:

  • Changing mix of distributed and renewable electric capacity
  • Growing demand for a more resilient and reliable grid, especially due to weather impacts and cyber and physical attacks
  • Growing supply- and demand-side opportunities for customers to participate in electricity markets
  • Emergence of interconnected electricity information and control systems
  • Aging electricity infrastructure

Over the next few years, GMI will lead an ambitious campaign to attract innovators and stakeholders to the discussion. To gain input on grid modernization needs from industry, regulators, and others, the Energy Department has awarded competitive research funding and extended technical assistance to states, regions, and tribes. Working together to face these challenges, the future looks bright.  

Read more about the projects at work on this initiative.