Application of a Prize Mechanism to Address Data Utilization Challenges at Utilities

Sarah Gomach, Alec Schulberg, Noah Kobayashi, Deborah Brodt-Giles, Jim Follum, Sandra Jenkins

Research output: NRELTechnical Report


The electric industry sector is facing an “explosion” of data from a variety of sources. Electric sector stakeholders need to define how to capitalize on large datasets, both those they create and those from other sources (like data on weather, buildings, electric vehicles, etc.), to improve reliability and resilience and meet the changing system dynamics from renewable integration. For the electricity sector to fully utilize these vast new datasets, it must undergo a transformation in how it manages data quality, storage, and processing. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Electricity (OE) is committed to accelerating research, development, and demonstration of new technologies and tools within the electricity sector to advance reliability, resilience, and affordable operation of the power system. Through the prize mechanism, OE identified two widespread data-related challenges for utilities—load modeling and data analysis automation—and offered an opportunity for utilities and teams of software engineers to identify additional challenges faced by utilities. After completing one round of the American-Made Digitizing Utilities Prize, OE, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) as the prize administrator, and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) as the domain experts have compiled the results and lessons learned to feed into the second round of the prize.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages16
StatePublished - 2024

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/TP-6A50-89029


  • data automation
  • Digitizing Utilities Prize
  • electrification
  • grid
  • grid resilience
  • load modeling
  • utilities


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