May 2004
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New Industry Energy Alliance Partners with Department of Energy on Smart Grid of the Future

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The GridWise™ Alliance, a newly formed, not-for-profit consortium of companies whose shared vision is to transform the U.S. electric system through innovative new technologies, has formed a new partnership with the U.S. Department of Energy.

The Alliance provides for the creative exchange of ideas between various stakeholders within energy and information technology industries, DOE and its national laboratories, state public utility commissions, and commercial entities spanning the spectrum from industry leaders to startups and technology innovators.

The partnership between the Alliance and DOE was solidified through a memorandum of understanding signed recently.

“This is a major step in creating a public/private partnership to radically improve the efficient use of the nation’s energy infrastructure; providing significant benefits to energy consumers and energy producers alike,” said Chuck McDermott, chair of the Alliance Board. “The collaboration enables specific actions to support the Alliance’s vision of an electric power grid that leverages innovative energy and information technologies to realize system efficiencies that are presently hidden in a cumbersome and aged regulatory, technical and business framework.”

Initial collaborative activities include establishing information forums, open working groups and strategies to engage a broad range of stakeholders, including utilities, regulatory organizations, government, private industry and consumers.

“The Alliance and DOE share a common goal of enhancing the grid’s cost efficiency and reliability through deploying a broad new spectrum of energy and information technologies while empowering customers to engage in, and benefit from, active participation in grid operations,” said Steve Hauser, the Gridwise Alliance executive director and vice president at UAI, Inc., one of the Alliance’s charter members. “Our collective success and the health of our nation’s economy are dependent, however, on a collaborative effort by both public and private sectors, which this new agreement will help ensure,” Hauser added, “We applaud DOE’s leadership in this effort.”

The GridWise Alliance was formed in 2003 as a result of a series of industry workshops involving more than 100 different companies held around the country from 2001 to 2003. The workshops developed a clear consensus regarding the need for a new vision of the country’s energy infrastructure; one that is cleaner, more affordable, more reliable and more secure.

Charter members of the GridWise Alliance include AREVA T&D, Battelle, IBM, PJM Interconnection, RockPort Capital Partners and UAI. New members include: AIG Global Energy, the Bonneville Power Administration, the Electric Innovation Institute, Nxegen and Schneider Electric.

GridWise Background Information GridWise is a vision, a national initiative and an alliance created to transform the nation’s energy system from electrical generation through transmission and distribution to end-use consumption. Industry leaders, along with the U.S. Department of Energy and the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, created the term GridWise to represent the concept of an advanced energy system for the 21st century. The purpose of GridWise is to bring together the energy and information technology industries as well as regulators and other state and federal officials – all with the goal of moving our industrial-age electrical grid into the information age.


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