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As the smart grid becomes reality, software architectures for integrating legacy systems with new innovative approaches for grid management are needed. These architectures must exhibit flexibility, extensibility, interoperability and scalability. In this position paper, we describe our preliminary work to design such an architecture, known as GridOPTICS, that will enable the deployment and integration of new software tools in smart grid operations. Our preliminary design is based upon use cases from PNNL's Future Power Grid Initiative, which is developing a collection of advanced software technologies for smart grid management and control. We describe the motivations for GridOPTICS, and the preliminary design that we are currently prototyping for several distinct use cases.