This piece was originally published in the January 2017 issue of electroindustry.
Steve Griffith, PMP, NEMA Industry Director, NEMA
The Grid Modernization Leadership Council, a joint assembly of the Utility Products and Connected Systems divisions, held its inaugural meeting in conjunction with NEMA’s 2016 Annual Membership Meeting in Cleveland, Ohio.
This council was established to accelerate the adoption of a modern electric grid by providing guidance and recommendations on new consensus-based standards, advocating for favorable government relations policies and positions, developing and driving messaging and educational materials, promoting voluntary cybersecurity and supply chain risk standards, and participating in relevant future grid activities.
Members manufacture the power equipment, monitoring, and control systems that are building the modern North American electric grid. This grid uses information and communications technologies—such as advanced metering infrastructure, consumer involvement technologies, and high-tech sensors—to isolate problems, minimize disruptions, and repair disruptions automatically and remotely.
The modern also recovers more quickly from extreme weather outages, and optimizes the efficiency, reliability, diversity, security, sustainability, and affordability of electricity.
Modern grid solutions can improve grid performance and accommodate the integration of diverse energy generation resources through energy storage, microgrids, distribution automation, demand response, voltage and reactive power optimization, distributed energy resources, and more. These solutions allow energy-efficient buildings and homes to produce and to sell power to the grid and to each other and can accommodate a growing number of electric vehicles.
The council will do several things to pursue its mission to modernize the electric grid, which is essential for promoting safety, security, electric reliability, economic productivity, sustainability, and a diverse energy generation mix:
- Provide a collective industry voice on legislative and regulatory matters
- Establish NEMA positions and promote policies that are favorable to grid modernization at the international, federal, regional, and state levels
- Promote voluntary industry consensus standards and guidelines to address the operation of the grid and to minimize cybersecurity and supply chain risk
- Encourage open collaboration and drive common messaging among utility organizations such as the Edison Electric Institute, Electric Power Research Institute, National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, and American Public Power Association
- Share information and develop an understanding of grid-edge and other discrete grid technologies as they pertain to NEMA member companies
- Share information and develop an understanding of well-defined interoperability points characterized by agreed-upon standards
- Participate in future grid modernization initiatives, such as those being led by the National Institute of Standards and Technology and the U.S. Department of Energy
For more information about the council, contact Steve Griffith (firstname.lastname@example.org).