IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - May/June 2016 - 26
What Is the GWAC?
The mission of the GridWise Architecture Council (GWAC)
* Develop and promote the policies and practices that
is to enable all elements of the electric system to interact.
will allow electric devices, enterprise systems, and
The council is an independent body that believes tomor-
their owners to interact and adapt as full participants
row's electric infrastructure can be more efficient and
* Shape the principles of connectivity for intelligent
merce with distributed intelligent networks and devices.
interactions and interoperability across all automa-
To achieve this vision of a transformed electric system, the
tion components of the electric system from end-use
council is defining the principles for interaction among the
systems, such as buildings or heating, ventilation, and
information systems that will effectively and dynamically
air-conditioning systems, to distribution, transmission,
operate the grid. The GWAC, which is supported by the
and bulk power generation.
U.S. Department of Energy, includes 13 representatives
* Address issues of open information exchange, universal
from electric energy generation and delivery, industrial
grid access, distributed grid communications and con-
systems control, building automation, information tech-
trol, and the use of modular and extensible technolo-
nology and telecommunications, and economic and regu-
gies that are compatible with the existing infrastructure.
The council is neither a design team nor a standards-
The GWAC is shaping the guiding principles of a highly
making body. Its role is to bring the right parties together
intelligent and interactive electric system, one ripe with de-
to identify actions, agreements, and standards that enable
cision-making information exchange and market-based op-
significant levels of interoperation among automation com-
portunities. This high-level perspective provides guidelines
ponents. The GWAC acts as a catalyst to outline a philoso-
for interaction among participants and interoperability be-
phy of intersystem operation that preserves the freedom to
tween technologies and automation systems. The council
innovate, design, implement, and maintain each organiza-
seeks to do the following:
tion's role and responsibility in the electrical system.
academia to compare their approaches and experiences to
create common definitions and understandings within this
topical area. This was followed in March 2012 with a second workshop during which about twice as many attendees
continued the discussion. At this workshop, the need for
both a road map and a document covering the foundations
of TE, common vocabulary, and other definitional aspects
was recognized. These two workshops led the GWAC to
organize the First International Conference and Workshop
on Transactive Energy, which took place 23-24 May 2013 in
Portland, Oregon. The GWAC has continued this work with
additional topical workshops, the Second International Conference and Workshop on Transactive Energy in December
2014, and is organizing the Third International Conference
and Workshop on Transactive Energy Systems to be held
17-19 May 2016 in Portland, Oregon.
This article provides a summary of the GWAC's work
to build the community of practice through creating a TE
framework document and related activities. In addition
to seeing TE discussions on the agenda for many conferences, there are also group activities relating to TE being
coordinated by both NIST and the Smart Grid Interoperability Panel (SGIP) with which GWAC is also involved.
NIST's work aims to develop and enhance modeling and
simulation tools and integration into modeling and simulation platforms for TE evaluation as well as demonstrate
in system operations.
secure by integrating information technology and e-com-
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how different transactive approaches maybe used to
improve the reliability and efficiency of the electric grid.
This will be accomplished through developing a set of
scenarios to serve as ongoing reference points for modeling and simulation. It is also an example of helping to
develop a TE community.
The ongoing Transactive Energy Coordination Group
formed by SGIP reviews the progress and directions of
TE activities in related parts of the SGIP and collaborating organizations such as the GWAC. One of its activities
is assembling a core set of TE use cases representative
of the TE interface requirements. This will enable the
assessment of interoperability requirements for TE applications and an analysis of standards coverage, gaps, and
The Transactive Energy Framework
As was done for the topic of grid interoperability with the
publication of the "GridWise Interoperability Context Setting Framework," the GWAC created the TE framework to
provide common ground and facilitate further development
of TE systems. A draft of the document was published for
review and comment in November 2013 following multiple
workshops and discussions. From the comments and discussion, the definition of TE was updated, and additional material, such as the TE principles, was added to the document.