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The electric power grid is a complex adaptive system under semi-autonomous distributed control. It is spatially and temporally complex, non-convex, nonlinear and non-stationary with a lot of uncertainties. The integration of renewable energy such as wind farms, and plug-in hybrid and electric vehicles further adds complexity and challenges to the various controllers at all levels of the power grid. A lot of efforts have gone into the development of a smart grid to align the interests of the electric utilities, consumers and environmentalists. Advanced computational methods are required for planning and optimization, fast control of power system elements, processing of field data and coordination across the grid. Distributed and coordinated intelligence at all levels and across levels of the electric power grid - generation, transmission and distribution is inevitable if a true smart grid is to be reality. Computational intelligence (CI) is the study of adaptive mechanisms to enable or facilitate intelligent behavior in complex, uncertain and changing environments. These adaptive mechanisms include artificial and bio-inspired intelligence paradigms that exhibit an ability to learn or adapt to new situations, to generalize, abstract, discover and associate. The paradigms of CI mimic nature for solving complex problems. CI is successor of artificial intelligence and is the way of the future computing. This paper presents the potentials and promises of CI to realize an intelligent smart grid.