Today, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced a request for information (RFI) regarding the concept of an “energyshed” and energyshed management systems. Given that the term “energyshed” is relatively new, DOE is seeking feedback on its concept and definition, as well as its application to the electric grid.

One piece of literature defines “energyshed” as “that geographical area in which all power consumed within it is supplied within it” and an “energyshed management system” to be whatever tool or process oversees the grid operations within the geographical bounds of the energyshed.

“At DOE we’re looking to accelerate the deployment of clean energy technologies to equitably transition America to a net-zero greenhouse gas emissions economy by 2050. It all starts with grid resource planning,” said Acting Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Kelly Speakes-Backman. “DOE is interested in understanding the implications of implementing an energyshed management system and how its application built on renewable energy, energy storage, and locally derived resources could help us reach the Biden-Harris Administration goal of a more efficient and resilient power system.”

EERE seeks the following information within any of the following 6 categories:

  1. Concept and Definition: Additional or alternate energyshed definitions; benefits and drawbacks.
  2. Tools and Analyses: Tools, data, and analyses required to effectively operate and manage energysheds.
  3. Planning and Operations: Considerations regarding grid planning and potential changes or barriers to power system operations.
  4. Resilience: Opportunities and barriers to developing a more resilient power system
  5. Energy Justice, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion: Strategies to ensure EERE prioritizes the energy needs of underserved communities located within an energyshed.
  6. Other Information: Additional information DOE should consider on the topic of energysheds or energyshed management systems.

Energysheds are analogous to watersheds, in which communities use more locally derived water to improve efficiency and decrease their dependence on water transported from long distances. The energyshed concept encourages communities to consider where their energy comes from geographically as well as the resources used to generate it. Information provided in response to this RFI will inform DOE’s consideration of a potential funding opportunity to develop and deploy an energyshed management system.

DOE is accepting comments on this RFI through than 5:00pm (ET) on August 10, 2021. More details are available in the RFI, which can be found here.