eLab Accelerator 2017


Project Objective

The goal of GridLab is to provide factual and complete information to enhance policy decision-making so technical grid integration and modernization issues (real or perceived) are not a barrier to rapid transition to reliable, economic and lower GHG futures.

Team Members

  • Curtis Seymour, Energy Foundation

  • Marion Gold, RI PUC

  • Sonia Aggarwal, Energy Innovation

  • Ed Smellof, Vote Solar

  • Mark Alstrom, NextEra Energy

  • John Moore, Sustainable FERC

  • Mike Taylor, SEPA

Project Description

Historically, clean energy policy advocacy has focused on promoting the adoption or procurement of clean energy resources. As the economics of clean energy improve relative to traditional generation resources, there is now an urgent need to remove other unnecessary barriers to the deployment of large quantities of clean energy. Input from stakeholders suggests that many market and policy barriers could be overcome with better technical information about grid integration and modernization proactively delivered to the right stakeholders at the right time. As a result, GridLab was conceived as a strategy to more effectively bring technical information to solve clean energy integration challenges in power sector policy decision-making.

Progress Made to Date (pre-Accelerator)

The Energy Foundation hosted a workshop in July of 2016 with key stakeholders to help define the mission and goals of the organization. Two discussion papers were developed from that workshop to help define and refine the vision for GridLab. A national search was held for an Executive Director, which further developed the vision.

Post-Accelerator Outcomes

At Accelerator, the team reached further clarity on both the strategic vision for GridLab, as well as refined priorities for specific engagements that the organization would undertake in its first six months. Working with Accelerator faculty and other participants, the team refined a proposal for GridLab’s overall strategy and vision. The team discussed organizing its efforts around the concept of a “flexible and dynamic grid,” and choosing to prioritize engagements and activities based on how well they supported that ultimate goal.

With a clear view of the strategy in mind, the team moved on to discuss priorities for near-term engagement, including brainstorming specific engagements for the organization’s first six months. The team discussed what actions would help make these activities successful, and how to best work with utilities, advocates, regulators, and other stakeholders in order to support outcomes that moved towards the vision of a flexible and dynamic grid.