Software Engineering Institute | Carnegie Mellon University
Software Engineering Institute | Carnegie Mellon University

Smart Grid

A complex system of innovative and intelligent digital technologies to transform the electric power grid provides challenges for security, interoperability, and resiliency.


A major power grid transformation is underway. The smart grid is a constantly evolving infrastructure of digital technology and power-industry practices for improved management of electricity generation, transmission, and distribution. The smart grid's modernized controls and communication will make energy use more reliable, secure, and efficient.

The SEI, in support of the U.S. Department of Energy (DoE), fosters the adoption of the Smart Grid Maturity Model (SGMM) by electric utilities and service providers and works to advance smart grid software engineering.

Informing a Vision for Smart Grid Transformation

Utility managers can use the SGMM to inform their utility's vision for smart grid transformation and chart its progress toward implementation. Developed by utilities for utilities, the SGMM is hosted by the SEI as a resource for industry transformation, with input from a broad array of stakeholders.

Individuals from utility industry service providers can apply to become SEI-certified SGMM Navigators, trained to guide utilities through a process of informing their strategy and vision for smart grid transformation. These industry experts know that making the grid smarter is a priority, and they know how to do it.

By working with SEI-Certified SGMM Navigators, electric utilities around the world are using the SGMM to

  • inform a shared smart grid vision
  • facilitate communication among stakeholders using a common language
  • prioritize options and support decision making
  • track their smart grid implementation over time
  • compare their results with other SGMM users

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SEI Software Engineering Research for the Smart Grid

Architecture at all scales: The SEI's Software Solutions Division (SSD) is applying its perspectives on software architecture to the smart grid, at the level of software, systems, systems-of-systems, and ultra-large-scale systems.

Cybersecurity: The SEI's CERT Division is addressing cybersecurity challenges of the smart grid by applying its experience in secure coding, resilience management, secure systems, and other areas. The CERT Division and SSD are collaborating to develop actionable security guidance for smart grid applications in the form of security profiles. This work is part of the Advanced Security Acceleration Project for Smart Grid (ASAP SG), a public-private collaboration.

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SGMM Domains

The SGMM's eight domains provide a framework for understanding the current extent of smart grid deployment and a context for establishing strategic objectives and implementation plans.