Communicating Smart Grid Investment Progress

Client: U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability
residential smart meter smart gris technologies smart grid investments through 2015 graph Smart Grid Investment Grant Program report cover

Project Overview

Nexight Group worked with a team of contractors to develop the first public report of investment and deployment progress for the 99 Smart Grid Investment Grants managed by OE.

Need

OE has implemented a comprehensive program to accelerate U.S. smart grid investment—the cornerstone of which is $3.4 billion awarded by the Recovery Act to fund 99 Smart Grid Investment Grants (SGIG). OE sought to not only meet Recovery Act reporting requirements, but develop a key outreach tool for its smart grid strategy and results.

Our Solution

Our layered approach to the Progress Report enabled it to serve both as a concise communications tool and an in-depth report of technology deployment progress. The industry-led projects had been deploying advanced smart grid technologies in their utility systems for two years by the July 2012 Progress Report, and were beginning to show tangible results. Nexight Group worked with a team of contractors to develop a report with four key sections that built in length and detail:

  • A comprehensive executive summary for government leaders and industry partners
  • Background on the program strategy and extensive planning
  • Detailed reports and visual diagrams of funds expended, technology deployed, and initial results in the program’s four project areas: transmission, distribution, advanced metering infrastructure, and customer systems
  • An appendix of abstracts on each of the 99 projects and their initial progress

Nexight’s succinct executive summary set the stage for the report, but could also be used as a standalone outreach document to brief leadership and private-sector partners on program strategy, implementation, and success. We contributed to report writing and edited the complete draft for accuracy and clarity.

Impact

Nexight has transformed content and graphics from the Progress Report into briefings for industry conferences, talking points for keynote speeches, and presentations to incoming DOE leadership. As an outreach tool, it is educating smart grid stakeholders on the results and benefits they can expect to see from the program’s technology deployment throughout the grid.