The GridWise Alliance was formed in September 2003 by a group of seven companies, Alstom, IBM, PNNL, PJM, RockPort Capital, Sempra Energy, and Utility Automation Integrators. It is committed to increasing knowledge among industry stakeholders, promoting understanding of roles, benefits, and costs, and supporting research, development and deployment initiatives and public-private partnerships.

Presently, the 100-plus members represent a broad cross-section of energy and electricity industry stakeholders, including utilities and system operators; smart grid equipment manufacturers; software developers and consultants; telecommunications, automotive and building controls companies; and investors and academic institutions. The Alliance has also been developing relationships with a host of other organisations and continues to build strategic partnerships both nationally and globally.

The key to the success of the Alliance is the participation of its members in the democratic consensus-based process run through several work groups. The four work groups are briefly described below.

LEGISLATIVE AND POLICY
This group is chaired by Mark Maddox, Arcadian Networks. Its current initiatives include:

  • Engage Congress and the administration to support funding the EISA Smart Grid title and future smart grid programmes at DOE
  • Reach out to relevant stakeholder organisations to enlist input and support for key policy proposals
  • Provide expert testimony on smart grid to House and Senate Committees
  • Create materials to educate members of Congress and their staff as well as regulatory and administration officials.

STATE LEGISLATIVE AND POLICY
Brett Kilbourne, UTC, chairs this work group. The primary initiatives it responds to are:

  • Prepare educational materials to educate legislators and regulators on smart grid generally and EISA compliance more specifically
  • Reach out to key organisations to enlist input and create statebased coalitions
  • Provide expert testimony, model legislation, and intervene where appropriate on smart grid to key legislators, regulators, and stakeholders.

IMPLEMENTATION
Rob Wilhite, KEMA, Inc., is the chair of this group. Its primary initiatives are:

  • Develop a value stream matrix so that benefits of a smarter grid can be better quantified
  • Create an information resource and demonstration projects and extract lessons learned to share with the DOE smart grid clearinghouse
  • Publish reports on smart grid evaluation metrics and key knowledge gaps in demonstration projects
  • Identify skill sets member companies will need in their employees to develop smart grid.

INTEROPERABILITY AND CYBERSECURITY
The co-chairs for this work group are Ron Ambrosio, IBM (and Chair of the GridWise Architecture Council), and Sharla Artz, Schweitzer Engineering Lab. The primary initiatives include:

  • Participate in NIST smart grid interoperability process and provide Alliance comments as appropriate
  • Provide input to NERC, Department of Homeland Security, and DOE on cybersecurity issues
  • Comment on Federal Communications Commission smart grid implementation memorandum.

Terry Mohn, Vice Chair GWA VP, Chief Innovation Officer Balance Energy