IEEE-USA and the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) recently co-hosted a congressional staff briefing focusing on the smart grid. The briefing, entitled, “Grid Security and Advancements in Smart Grid Technology,” was convened through the Congressional Research and Development (R&D) Caucus, an organization dedicated to increasing the awareness of Members of Congress and congressional staff on issues related to R&D.
The briefing was delivered by the foremost experts in electric grid modernization and security issues. Smart Grid potential opportunities and critical policy issues were discussed by Dr. Damir Novosel, President-Elect of the IEEE Power & Energy Society. The requirements for achieving a stronger, smarter, and more secure grid were presented by Dr. Massoud Amin, an IEEE and ASME member and Chairman of IEEE Smart Grid Operations Committee. An example of a project enabled by the Smart Grid was described by Kerrick Johnson of Vermont Electric Power Company.
Dr. Veronika Rabl, chair of the IEEE-USA Energy Policy Committee, served as moderator and gave an introductory presentation on the Smart Grid. She discussed some of the urgent measures needed to deliver the large potential benefits of a modern, Smart Grid, infrastructure. These measures need to be pursued by the government, industry, and states and include:
- Assuring timely development of Smart Grid standards by funding a “fast-track” approach to development of selected standards
- Developing an institutional infrastructure for testing and certification of products for compliance with Smart Grid standards
- Developing operational tools to more accurately forecast the availability of natural gas supply for generators and improve unit commitment decisions
- Supporting education, work-force development and R&D that enable smart, secure, self-healing and resilient infrastructure
- Resolving technical and jurisdictional issues associated with devices that operate across institutional, regulatory, and information architectural boundaries
IEEE-USA and ASME helped co-found the R&D Caucus, which is currently co-chaired by Congressman John Culberson (R-Texas) and Congressman Bill Foster (D-Ill.). As Chairman of the House Commerce, Justice & Science Appropriations Subcommittee (which has jurisdiction over the National Science Foundation, NASA, and the Office of Science and Technology Policy), Rep. Culberson plays a key role in R&D funding in Congress. Rep. Bill Foster is the only physicist serving in Congress and a member of the House Science Committee (which has jurisdiction over energy R&D, demonstration projects, and all federally owned or operated non-military energy laboratories).
Presentations from the briefing are available here.