Technology for the 21st Century Electric Utility

The Grid of the Future Symposium, sponsored by the CIGRE US National Committee (USNC) with the theme Technology for the 21st Century Electric Utility, will be held October 17–20, 2021 at the Omni Hotel on 1 W Exchange St in Providence, RI.

The Symposium, hosted by National Grid, will be a forum for the participants to discuss state-of-the-art innovations in generation, transmission, distribution, and innovative smart grid technologies.

Grid of the Future 2021 will feature plenary sessions, technical paper sessions, and tutorials by international experts. Contributions from Next Generation Network (NGN) young engineers are encouraged.

Hotel Information – REGISTRATION EXTENDED – OCTOBER 9, 2021

If attending in-person, DON’T forget to book your room at the Omni Hotel in Providence, Rhode Island before October 9, 2021 to take advantage of the GOTF block rate. Click here to reserve your room.

2021 Tutorials

The following tours and tutorials will be offered at the symposium. Registration is required for all tours and tutorials and space is limited.

NGN Tutorial & Visit to National Grid Owned Solar Farm

Sunday, October 17, 1:00PM–4:45PM

Justin Woodard, Samer Arafa, Tyler Krupa
Learn how National Grid is experimenting with Advanced Inverters, Dynamic VAR, Energy Storage and SCADA Controls to enable a clean energy grid. Opportunity to visit one of the most advanced PV and Energy Storage sites in the country. Participants are required to bring closed-toe shoes for Solar farm visit. Transportation from and to the hotel will be provided.


IEC 61850 Tutorial and Tour of Digital Substation IEC 61850 Lab

Wednesday, October 20, 8:00AM–12:00PM

Brian Degner, Laura Dembitzki, Paul Robinson, Al Moniz (National Grid)
Tour of National Grid’s Digital Substation IEC 61850 Lab. This Lab is dedicated to R&D, Standards Development, Equipment Testing, and Training as it pertains to IEC 61850.
(1) Overview Presentation of IEC 61850
High level presentation explaining what IEC 61850 is, how it differs from conventional substation designs, highlight of key benefits
(2) Tour of the Lab
Overview of the various equipment and devices and the purpose of each
(3) Demonstration
Simulation of primary system condition and associated response of devices; observation of data flowing through the network (GOOSE traffic); overview of the HMI and its ability to operate equipment


National Grid SPOT Robot Tutorial with HVDC Use-case, Demo & Substation Tour

Wednesday, October 20, 8:00AM–12:00PM

Sid Ashok, Dean Berlin (National Grid)
Learn how National Grid is experimenting with SPOT Robot from Boston Dynamics and applying its use cases in national grid substations like the HVDC terminal. The agenda for this tour would be a tutorial about SPOT, payloads and use cases followed by specific use case at the HVDC site terminal. The SPOT robot applications will also be showcased at South Street substations in RI. Participants are required to bring their own EH rated safety boot for substation visit. Cotton clothing is required. Hard hat and safety glass will be provided.
Classroom Tutorial
Robot Demo and Substation Tour


Call for Papers and Participation

The symposium scope covers the following general topics:

Digitization & Big Data: Smart Cities, IEC 61850, IoT, Public vs. private networks, Fiber/WAN/FAN, Network and device management, Cyber-security, self-healing grid, and sensors

Clean Technologies: EV, Energy Efficiency, Smart Homes, Off-shore Wind, Distributed Generation Technologies, Smart Inverters, Energy Storage, Non-Wires Solutions

Innovative & Disruptive Technologies: Quantum Computing Applications in Power, Blockchain in Energy, Artificial Intelligence, Edge Computing, Digital Twin, Advanced Approaches for Detecting Downed Conductors, Autonomous Vehicles

Asset Management & People: Risk/Cost/Performance Modeling, Data Analytics, Failure Prediction, Transforming the Workforce

Transmission & Distribution Systems: Transmission Monitoring, T&D System Planning, HVDC, Distributed System Operator, Grid Modernization, ADMS, DERMS, DMS, DR, Microgrids & Islanding, Public Generation Availability and Energy Usage Maps


August 27, 2021
Complete manuscripts must be submitted by August 27, 2021 via email to The paper should be formatted in accordance with the CIGRE Publications Guide.

August 30, 2021
Notification of acceptance.

September 3, 2021
Deadline for submission of final paper with required changes.

Sponsorship Opportunities

Consider becoming a Platinum [$15,000], Gold [$10,000], Silver [$7,500], or Bronze [$5,000] sponsor for Grid of the Future! Additionally, you may choose to sponsor a breakfast, lunch, or evening reception during the symposium. Click here for more information.

Thank you for supporting Grid of the Future. Please contact Sharon Loe at if you’re interested in becoming a sponsor.

Grid of the Future 2021 is hosted by

Grid of the Future 2021 is sponsored by