The GridWise Alliance has released a report detailing the current state of the nation's power grid and quantifying the benefits of a modernized electric system.The report is designed to provide federal and state regulators with concrete examples of demonstrated benefits of grid modernization projects as they contemplate their own optimization initiatives.

The report, "Realizing the Value of an Optimized Electric Grid," written by Quanta Technology in conjunction with the GridWise Alliance Implementation Work Group, identifies direct benefits to grid operations in five separate categories including:

  • Grid Reliability and Security;
  • Customer Energy Management Opportunity;
  • Asset and Resource Optimization;
  • Health, Safety, and Environment; and
  • Productivity and Economic Growth
"The electric industry continues to move forward with grid modernization programs," said James W. Morozzi, President and CEO, GridWise Alliance. "Grid modernization is imperative in the United States.Our economy and quality of life depends on a robust, optimized and modernized electric grid. This is an important time as decision makers look for data from completed projects to ensure that their upcoming initiatives are deployed efficiently and effectively. This report aims to provide those making decisions with real examples of positive grid transformations occurring around the nation."

The report collected data from interviews with GridWise Alliance members, state regulators, and several utilities, as well as encompassing analysis of recent smart grid reports.Key findings focused on how grid initiatives are leading to improvements in electric reliability, energy savings, and customer engagement as well as other benefits. Detailed case studies highlighting these improvements were collected through interviews with Southern California Edison, Pacific & Gas and Electric, Oklahoma Gas & Electric and many others.

While modernization efforts continue to produce positive results, several challenges to a successful and complete optimization of our nation's electric grid were identified as being:
  • Technology readiness;
  • Market readiness and risks;
  • Realization of potential benefits;
  • Impacts of financial support; and
  • Customer engagement.
These challenges continue to be addressed by GridWise Alliance members.