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February 17, 2012—Leaders in the electric power industry recently collaborated with the Software Engineering Institute (SEI) to build the future of the Smart Grid Maturity Model (SGMM) at the SGMM Leadership Workshop. In January, seven key SGMM Partners and stakeholders met with the SEI SGMM development team in Pittsburgh to brainstorm ways to enhance the effectiveness of the SGMM version 1.3 and beyond.
Smart grid is a worldwide, public-private effort to modernize the electric power grid for greater energy efficiency, reliability, and security. In 2007, a consortium of leading utilities developed the SGMM, a management tool that has since been used by more than 120 electric power utilities around the world to plan their smart grid implementation, prioritize options, and measure progress. The SEI has stewarded the SGMM product suite since 2009.
“It’s important to maintain a close connection with electric power industry stakeholders to ensure that the model remains relevant and that it addresses issues of importance to the industry.”–David White, SGMM chief architect, SEI
Participants in the workshop included SGMM stakeholders from utility consultants in the SGMM Partner network. A representative of the U.S. Department of Energy, which sponsors the SGMM project, also attended, along with a representative of American Productivity & Quality Center, the SGMM’s data manager. David White, SGMM chief architect at the SEI (pictured), said, “It’s important to maintain a close connection with electric power industry stakeholders to ensure that the model remains relevant and that it addresses issues of importance to the industry.”
Alongside the SEI SGMM development team, the workshop’s industry participants brainstormed ways to expand future versions of the model and accelerate the adoption of the SGMM by utilities operators. They also suggested many enhancements to the upcoming version of the model, such as adding explanations and examples, more finely segmenting the existing SGMM dataset by utility size, better accommodating different types of electric power utilities, and laying the groundwork for future inclusion of water and natural gas utilities.
The participants’ highest-priority request for version 1.3 was the addition of explanatory material to the model’s maturity characteristics. In particular, participants asked for characteristic examples tailored to different kinds of electric power utilities, such as investor-owned, municipal, and co-operative. They also requested guidelines for interpreting the characteristic definitions.
Another urgent request was to frame the version 1.3 product suite so utilities understand the benefits of using the SGMM assessment on an ongoing basis. Repeating the assessment allows utilities to track their smart grid progress and refine their strategies for modernizing their part of the power grid.
The workshop participants also discussed topics for the upcoming SGMM webinar in March, which is part of the SEI Webinar Series. The latest SGMM webinar, Smart Grid Maturity Model: A Vision for the Future of Smart Grid, can be viewed at http://www.sei.cmu.edu/library/abstracts/webinars/Smart-Grid-Maturity-Model-A-Vision-for-the-Future-of-Smart-Grid.cfm.
Throughout the workshop, participants discussed ways to strengthen the relationship between utilities and SGMM Navigators. The SEI trains and certifies Navigators to guide utilities through the SGMM assessment and generate smart grid aspirations. Recently certified Navigators include members of three SGMM Partners: Enzen Global Solutions Private Limited; Horizon Energy Group, LLC; and SAIC Energy, Environment, and Infrastructure, LLC. For more information on SGMM Partners, visit http://www.sei.cmu.edu/partners/sgmm/. The next Navigation course will be held April 17-19 at the SEI office in Arlington, Va. For more information or to register, visit http://www.sei.cmu.edu/certification/sgmm/navigator/.
White said the SGMM development team has already begun work on the next version of the model, guided by the workshop’s output. “A clear vision emerged for version 1.3 improvements that will bring real value to the stakeholders and users of the model,” he said, adding that the workshop’s output has already guided the SGMM development team’s work on version 1.3.
To contact the SEI SGMM development team, email firstname.lastname@example.org. To receive a copy of the Smart Grid Maturity Model Leadership Workshop summary report or to download the SGMM product suite, visit http://www.sei.cmu.edu/smartgrid/start/downloads/index.cfm.
To learn more about the Smart Grid Maturity Model, visit http://www.sei.cmu.edu/smartgrid/.