About the GREAT with Data Initiative

The Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) along with electric utility partners and universities have been selected by U.S. Department of Energy Solar Energy Technologies Office (SETO) to receive a $6 million award to launch the Grid-Ready Energy Analytics Training (GREAT) with Data initiative. The project will design, develop and deliver professional training materials to train and recruit power systems workers and university curricula for new engineers and computer scientists. It will also develop certifications, credentials, qualifications, and standards for the training and education needed in the electric utility industry workplace to transform the grid.

The GREAT with Data initiative will help merge grid Operations Technology and Information Technology to enable the integration of distributed energy resources (DER), especially solar, through enhanced industry coordination and workforce readiness initiatives by training, educating, and recruiting qualified personnel into the electric utility industry.

The creative commons content developed through the project will address workforce skills in four key technical areas:

  1. data science, including descriptive, prescriptive, and predictive analytics, and machine learning;
  2. cyber security;
  3. information and communication technologies including increased grid interoperability and standardization; and
  4. integration of solar photovoltaic and other synergistic distributed energy resources such as energy storage, electric vehicles, demand response, etc.

Multiple delivery mechanisms from live-in person instruction to computer or cloud based digital training modules will be used. Target audiences include engineering, applied mathematics, and computer science students, professional engineers, executives, data scientists, and increasing diverse talent pools (e.g. veterans, women, and other underrepresented minorities) in the power industry. Electric utilities rely heavily on regional resources from which they obtain assets and people. In support, five strategic regional training hubs across the United States will prioritize feedback and guide content development and delivery to meet regional supply principles. Multiple training repository platforms, a data analytics center of excellence in power systems, and train the trainer workshops will facilitate program expansion. Further, innovative training simulators and digital learning platforms that use both augmented and virtual reality where trainees get hands-on experience with virtual assets will be explored.

Utility participants on the project development team include: American Electric Power, Austin Energy, Bonneville Power Administration, Con Edison, Duke Energy, Entergy, FirstEnergy, Lincoln Electric System, Portland General Electric, Riverside Public Utilities, Salt River Project, Snohomish Public Utility District, Southern California Edison, Southern Company, Tennessee Valley Authority, and the Western Area Power Administration.

Collaborating universities include: Stony Brook University; University of California, Riverside; Virginia Tech; and Washington State University.