We’ve come a long way since the Pearl Street Station Generating Station came online 135 years ago. From serving under 100 customers in Manhattan’s First District in 1882 to now delivering electricity to over 140 million customers across the U.S., the growth of the nation’s grid is remarkable. Over the years, many changes have occurred. And now with factors such as aging infrastructure, evolving technologies, growing consumer participation, and increasing cybersecurity and physical threats, the grid that has sustained us for over a century requires modernization.

The Department of Energy (DOE) launched the Grid Modernization Initiative (GMI) with public and private partners to develop new architectural concepts, tools, and technologies that can better measure, analyze, predict, and protect the grid, and identify the institutional changes needed for the development and adoption of those tools and technologies. One of the GMI’s main components is the Grid Modernization Laboratory Consortium (GMLC), a $220 million effort to help shape the future of the nation’s grid. Under the GMLC, DOE’s National Laboratories are managing 88 projects performing critical research and development in key grid modernization areas such as advanced storage systems, distributed energy resources, transactive control, and data analytics.  

Last week, we hosted a group of sixteen outside experts to formally review our GMI efforts thus far and asked stakeholders from state and local government, utilities, and industry to provide their perspectives. I had the pleasure of discussing how, through the GMI and GMLC, we’ve brought our National Labs together and are collaborating across DOE in a holistic way. Through this portfolio of projects, we are now looking at how all of these technologies fit together and fit back into the grid as a whole. We are grateful to the peer reviewers who took time out of their busy professional schedules to provide feedback. Their insight will allow us to prioritize our projects, modify our portfolio, and update the GMI’s Multi-Year Program Plan, as needed. We also appreciate the comments and input provided by stakeholders who attended the Peer Review.

Success at the Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability (OE) relies on a robust and engaged relationship with our private and public partners. Together, we must continue addressing the changing dynamics and uncertainties in which the electric system will operate to help ensure a resilient, reliable, secure, and flexible electricity system needed for continued U.S. security, competitiveness, and innovation. It’s a big challenge, but an even bigger opportunity – and we are thankful for the support of all of our partners.   

To learn more about how OE is working closely with its private and public partners to strengthen, transform, and improve energy infrastructure to ensure access to reliable, secure, and flexible sources of energy, explore the OE website.  

Patricia A. Hoffman
Acting Assistant Secretary, Office of Electricity
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