The electricity industry is essential to all sectors of our nation’s economic life, more so now than ever before. Preserving the mission of the grid, which is delivering safe, reliable electrical energy at an economically-viable cost, is the primary task of all operators and service providers. From smart meters to smart appliances to more intelligent control of distribution, transmission, and generation, an advanced grid offers the potential of improved utilization of all generation and storage resources, increased operational efficiency and reliability, and enhanced opportunity for customers to make choices about energy use.
A more interconnected, automated, and information-rich electricity delivery system also provides the opportunity to deliver a safer and more reliable interoperation, and to mitigate threats to the grid and electric user’s privacy from accidental and intentional harm. The Smart Grid Policy Center defines interoperability as “the seamless, end-to-end connectivity of hardware and software from end-use devices through the T&D system to the power source, enhancing the coordination of energy flows with real-time information and analysis”. The GridWise Alliance believes that with sound planning, thorough design, and coordinated execution, a safe, secure, and reliable smart grid can be achieved. Interoperability and cybersecurity policies and legislation, and the resulting guidelines and standards will play a critical role in realizing a transformed electric grid.