In the past decade, multiple stakeholder organizations have published documents forecasting and making recommendations about the electric industrys future. The GridWise® Architecture Council (GWAC), a group convened by the U.S. Dept. of Energy, chartered a project to assess the electric industry vision and future state assessment documents and determine how aligned these views of the future are. The project objectives
were to identify:
1.) Stakeholders; vision and future states for the electric industry and grid
2.) Their similarities, differences, divergences, and stakeholder impacts, and
3.) Architectural challenge-gap categories for potential multi-stakeholder organization coordination and collaboration opportunities.
The GWAC identified six major architectural challenges or gap areas during assessing and characterizing ten vision and future state reports from nine organizations:
1.) Developing new industry structures
2.) Transitioning from centralized to distributed
3.) Transitioning from silos to platforms
4.) Developing effective data communications enabling control and coordination in distributed structures
5.) Standardizing Interfaces and structures
6.) Accommodating large quantities of DER with new structures
These must be addressed to achieve the vision of the future grid described in the ten reports, so how do we get there? In addition to traditional forward analysis, the importance of using a structured "future back" approach will be discussed.
Finally, Grid Architecture will be defined and its importance as a tool in this process will be discussed, along with a description of the GWAC’s Interoperability Framework and its continued relevance.