U.S. Department of Energy

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

Future Power Grid
FPGI Research Areas

GridOPTICS™ Open-Source Tools

From Grid Optics

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory's Future Power Grid Initiative created the GridOPTICS™ tool suite to securely collect and manage data in real time, use data to drive modeling and simulation, and convert large volumes of data to actionable information. The following GridOPTICS™ products are open source and publicly available:


Grid Parallel Advanced Computational Kernels, or GridPACK™, is a software framework that harnesses advanced computing to simplify the development of programs that model the power grid. The toolkit's various modules help move model development from the workstation level to the advanced computing realm, while seeking to eliminate some of the lower-level details and complications typically involved in programming on parallel computers. The basic concept behind GridPACK™ is that power engineers should spend more time focusing on rapid development of their models and applications and less on trying to deal with data exchanges and partitions and similar issues pertinent to parallel computing. GridPACK™ has gained funding from the U.S Department of Energy's Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability for ongoing development. GridPACK is available at https://www.gridpack.org/


VOLTTRON™ is a distributed control and sensing software platform. It creates an environment in which appliances and other devices are represented by "agents" that communicate among each other to prioritize power needs and deliver electricity accordingly. VOLTTRON™ allows researchers and others to build applications for more efficiently managing energy use among appliances and devices. The platform's open, flexible and modular software platform is interoperable across vendors and applications, and offers ease of application development, while hiding power and control system complexities from developers. VOLTTRON™ already has been used in projects for DOE and others. VOLTTRON™ is available on GitHub at https://github.com/VOLTTRON/volttron

GridOPTICS™ Software System (GOSS)

The GridOPTICS™ Software System - or GOSS - is a middleware framework that enables the deployment of new applications for the future power grid. This resource easily integrates grid applications with sources of data and facilitates easy communication between them. Such a capability provides a foundation for developing a range of applications that will improve grid management. GOSS is an open source, vendor-independent middleware framework designed specifically for the power grid. GOSS is available on GitHub at https://github.com/GridOPTICS/GOSS

Framework for Network Co-Simulation (FNCS)

FNCS - pronounced "phoenix" - is a federated co-simulation platform that merges communication (data) simulators with distribution and transmission simulators. In the federated environment, each simulator runs in its own process; FNCS performs the heavy lifting of synchronization and inter-simulator message delivery. This resource makes it possible to model and design more effective smart grid hardware and other tools, ultimately improving grid efficiency and performance. FNCS capabilities have been tested in case studies, including a smart grid application that calculates the cleared price of electricity; the tool successfully co-simulated transmission, distribution and communications network simulators. FNCS is available at: https://github.com/GridOPTICS/FNCS

Last Update: 5 March 2014 | Pacific Northwest National Laboratory