References and Tools

Watts to Gigawatts


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Government Departments, Agencies, and Commissions


Department of Energy (DOE)

The federal department that is responsible to advance the national economic and energy security; promote scientific and technological innovation in energy; and cleanup the national nuclear weapons complex. It has unprecedented funding for the Smart Grid, energy storage, and energy sources, and uses its national laboratories, policies and resources to promote energy solutions and develop policies and standards. This link takes you to the main Smart Grid page and is a good starting point for learning more about the Smart Grid. (

Federal Communications Commission (FCC)

The federal agency charged with regulating interstate and international communications by radio, television, wire, satellite and cable. The Technological Advisory Council (TAC) will provide technical advice to the FCC and make recommendations on a range of communications topics including Smart Grid. (

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC)

The federal agency that has oversight of interstate electricity sales, wholesale electricity rates, oil pipeline rates, natural gas pricing and gas pipeline certification, and hydroelectric licensing. FERC is responsible for adopting standards on Smart Grid interoperability to ensure that devices and technologies deployed across the grid work together. This link takes you to the main Smart Grid page so you can learn more about Smart Grid activity within the bulk power system. (

National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)

Part of the US Department of Commerce, NIST is responsible for development of a Smart Grid architecture, interoperability, cyber security, and implementation standards for the Smart Grid, and development of testing and certification frameworks for equipment and systems conformance to these standards. NIST is tasked to work with federal, state, and local agencies and private industry consortiums to create these standards and frameworks. By the end of 2009, NIST plans to submit these standards for review and approval by FERC. If you are interested in standards activity, this is a must-see website. (


California Energy Commission (CEC)

The primary energy planning and policy entity for the State of California. Its major responsibilities include forecasting future energy needs, setting the state’s appliance and building efficiency standards, supporting energy research, development, and demonstration programs, and providing market support to existing, new, and emerging renewable technologies. Check out the Efficiency section – the appliance and building energy efficiency standards are responsible for holding California’s per capita energy use flat since 1976. (

New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA)

A public benefit corporation primarily funded by NY state rate payers. NYSERDA focuses on developing a diversified energy supply portfolio, improving market mechanisms, and promoting the adoption of advanced technologies to plan for and respond to uncertainties in the energy markets. This website has good information on this state’s Smart Grid initiatives and other sources for research. (

National Labs

Idaho National Laboratory (INL)

An applied engineering national laboratory dedicated to supporting DOE missions in nuclear and energy research, science, and national defense. INL is operated for the DOE by Battelle Energy Alliance. Research areas include the NSTB in collaboration with Sandia National Laboratory to analyze, test, and improve cyber security features in the control systems that operate the nation’s electric power grid. INL also contains the Control Systems Security Center, funded by the Department of Homeland Security to identify and develop solutions to prevent cyber attacks of critical infrastructure, and it is also involved in energy storage research for transportation applications. (

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL)

A DOE national laboratory operated by the University of California that conducts energy research, among other topics. Three of its prominent research areas are energy efficiency, biofuels, and solar technology. Within energy efficiency, the lab has programs focused on developing more environmentally friendly technologies for generating and storing energy, including better batteries and fuel cells, better building energy efficiency, energy use and policy, and power-efficient computing. (

National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)

A DOE national laboratory, it develops renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies and practices, advances related science and engineering, and transfers knowledge and innovations to address the nation’s energy and environmental goals. Many of NREL’s major research programs have analysis functions—from life-cycle to vehicle systems to online renewable energy analysis applications and modeling tools. Most of these tools can be applied on a global, regional, local, or project basis. (

Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL)

The DOE’s largest science and energy laboratory. Managed since April 2000 by a partnership of the University of Tennessee and Battelle, it has six major mission roles that include energy, high-performance computing, and materials science at the nanoscale. Energy initiatives include hosting the U.S. project office for the ITER international fusion experiment and the Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) Program, which focuses research in transportation, industrial technologies to cut energy use, buildings and weatherization, and various renewable energy sources. (

Pacific Northwest National Lab (PNNL)

A DOE laboratory operated by Battelle with a number of research missions. These include improving grid reliability and productivity with tools for wide area monitoring and real time analysis of grid operations. It is participating in a GridWise™ demonstration to test human response to price signals. The lab developed a circuit called a GridFriendly™ controller that can be used with home appliances. It also has a functional control center for use as an R&D platform called the Electricity Infrastructure Operations Center (EIOC) that provides access to real data from eastern and western power grids. Other R&D is concentrated in automated buildings diagnostics and control, energy codes and standards, market transformation, and energy program design and implementation. (

Sandia National Laboratory (SNLA)

A DOE laboratory for research and development that includes the FreedomCAR program, which tests lithium-ion batteries and other energy storage technologies. This Lab is also involved in research of metal technologies to store hydrogen, SCADA security, and distributed generation. It houses the DETL – Distributed Energy Technology Center. (

Industry Associations and Non-Governmental Organizations

Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency (DSIRE)

A comprehensive source of information on federal, state, local, and utility incentives that promote renewable energy and energy efficiency. It is an ongoing project of the North Carolina Solar Center and the Interstate Renewable Energy Council funded by the DOE. (

Demand Response and Smart Grid Coalition (DRSG)

A trade association of vendors that develop and deliver products and services for demand response, smart meters, and associated smart grid technologies. It provides education and information about how DR solutions work within the Smart Grid targeted to policymakers, utilities, the media, and the investors. (

Electric Power Research Institute, Inc. (EPRI)

A non-profit organization funded by global energy companies, utilities, and technology providers that conducts research and development relating to the generation, delivery, and use of electricity for the benefit of the public. Focused on addressing challenges in electricity, including reliability, efficiency, health, safety and the environment it also provides technology, policy and economic analyses for long-range research and development planning, and supports research in emerging technologies. Members represent more than 90 percent of the electricity generated and delivered in the United States, and international participation extends to 40 countries. (

Galvin Electricity Initiative

An organization promoting the perfect power system, which is defined as robust and resilient; able to withstand natural and weather-related disasters and mitigate the potential damage caused by terrorist attack; and provide affordable electricity to all consumers and allows consumers to control their own energy use to the extent they choose. Their reports describe existing technology, assessments of technology innovations, and functional specifications. They have prototypes of their power system to demonstrate its advantages and efficacy of its plans. (

GridWise® Alliance

A global consortium of corporations, educational institutions, and energy companies that promotes its vision of a smart grid – an electric system integrating infrastructure, processes, devices, information and market structures for efficient and cost-effective energy generation, transmission and distribution. The Gridwise Action Plan was developed in conjunction with the DOE to advocate new policies and technology solutions to deliver a more resilient, secure, and reliable energy system. (

North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC)

An international, independent, self-regulatory, not-for-profit organization, whose mission is to ensure the reliability of the bulk power system in North America. It monitors the bulk power system; assesses future adequacy of electricity; audits owners, operators, and users for preparedness; and educates and trains industry personnel. The standards that it proposes are reviewed by FERC and Canadian regulators for adoption. (

Career Resources

Energy Central

A website dedicated to jobs in the energy sector and industry information. (

Green Career Central

A website dedicated to green business career opportunities and career information. (

Smart Grid Careers

A website dedicated to Smart Grid job postings and career information. (

Smart Grid Career Transitions

A video interview with Smart Grid Dictionary author Christine Hertzog that provides practical advice for people interested in transitioning to a career in the Smart Grid sector. (