Grid Modernization Lab Consortium Foundational Projects

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The Grid Modernization Initiative (GMI) represents a comprehensive Energy Department and partner collaboration, which accelerates the development of technology, modeling analysis, tools, and frameworks to help enable grid modernization adoption. The result of this work will enable grid operators and owners to measure, analyze, predict, protect, and control the grid of the future.

As part of the GMI, the Energy Department announced funding in January 2016 of up to $220 million over three years to the Grid Modernization Laboratory Consortium (GMLC) and partners. GMLC is a strategic partnership which brings together the leading experts and resources across thirteen national laboratories to collaborate on grid modernization projects. Funding to the GMLC will support critical research and development in advanced storage systems, energy integration, standards and test procedures, and a number of other key grid modernization areas. This effort recognizes regional differences and will strengthen regional strategies while defining a diverse and balanced national strategy. In addition to projects that address the needs of incorporating individual grid technologies like solar or energy storage, DOE is also developing crosscutting projects that have impact across multiple technologies.

The Solar Energy Technologies Office (SETO) partially funds 10 GMLC Foundational projects

Awards

Foundational Analysis for GMLC Establishment/Analysis

Lab Partners: Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Argonne National Laboratory, Sandia National Laboratory, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Brookhaven National Laboratory, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
SETO Award Amount: $600,000
Total DOE Award Amount: $4,750,000
Project Summary: This project is developing an integrated suite of grid modernization metrics that leverage current industry practices and emerging industry additions, while developing new metrics that reflect evolving grid attributes and architectures. Researchers will conduct baseline modernization assessments and provide ongoing dashboard for policy makers, regulators, and industry stakeholders. 

Grid Architecture

Lab Partners: Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Argonne National Laboratory, Sandia National Laboratory, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
SETO Award Amount: $2,100,000
Total DOE Award Amount: $3,000,000
Project Summary: This project is building a new stakeholder-driven architecture for grid modernization, provide it to the industry with the tools they need to adapt it to their needs, and use it to inform program managers.

Southeast Consortium

Lab Partners: Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Savannah River National Laboratory
SETO Award Amount: $200,000
Total DOE Award Amount: $1,000,000
Project Summary: This project is identifying measurement requirements and data management and communication systems to enable full visibility of the grid system. This methodology includes defining the grid state, developing a roadmap, and creating a framework to determine sensor allocation for optimal results.

Vermont Regional Partnership Enabling the Use of Distributed Energy Resources

Lab Partners: Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Argonne National Laboratory, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Sandia National Laboratory, Idaho National Laboratory
SETO Award Amount: $850,000
Total DOE Award Amount: $1,000,000
Project Summary: This project is analyzing distributed energy resource integration, control, validation of wind and solar prediction, and a techno-economic analysis of energy storage in Vermont to inform utilities seeking to meet the state's renewable energy goal.

Grid Frequency Support from Distributed Inverter-Based Resources in Hawaii

Lab Partners: National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Sandia National Laboratory
SETO Award Amount: $310,000
Total DOE Award Amount: $1,000,000
Project Summary: This project is developing, simulating, and validating practical solutions in Hawaii that enable distributed energy resources to help mitigate bulk system frequency contingency events on a time-scale ranging from milliseconds to seconds. It is also validating the ability of real hardware inverters to support grid frequency in an environment that emulates the dynamics of a Hawaiian Electric Company power system.

Standards and Test Procedures for Interconnection and Interoperability

Lab Partners: National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Sandia National Laboratory, Argonne National Laboratory, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Idaho National Laboratory
SETO Award Amount: $1,200,000
Total DOE Award Amount: $3,600,000
Project Summary: This project builds on prior efforts to develop interconnection and interoperability standards and test procedures. It leverages existing activities spanning multiple DOE programs to harmonize requirements across jurisdictions, eliminate conflicting requirements across technology domains, and streamline conformance test procedures to the fullest extent possible.

Advanced Sensor Development

Lab Partners: Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, National Energy Technology Laboratory, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Sandia National Laboratory, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
SETO Award Amount: $1,300,000
Total DOE Award Amount: $6,000,000
Project Summary: This project increases visibility throughout the energy system including transmission, distribution, and end-use by developing low-cost, accurate sensors. Additionally, next-generation asset-monitoring devices help determine state of grid components prior to failure.

Development of Integrated Transmission, Distribution, and Communication (TDC) Models

Lab Partners: Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Argonne National Laboratory, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Sandia National Laboratory, Idaho National Laboratory
SETO Award Amount: $1,350,000
Total DOE Award Amount: $4,000,000
Project Summary: This project is building on best-in-class lab capabilities to develop an integrated, flexible, open source framework for coupling transmission, distribution, and communication models and simulations. It will also validate framework and models on hardware testbed. Real-world testing with partners will include distributed and wide area controls with distributed energy resources.

Distribution System Decision Support Tools

Lab Partners: National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
SETO Award Amount: $990,000
Total DOE Award Amount: $2,500,000
Project Summary: This project is developing tools, identifying gaps, and providing technical assistance and training for state regulators and small to medium utilities on advanced distribution system planning for a modernized grid that incorporates high levels of distributed energy resources.

Future Electric Utility Regulation

Lab Partners: Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Sandia National Laboratory, Los Alamos National Laboratory, National Energy Technology Laboratory
SETO Award Amount: $750,000
Total DOE Award Amount: $3,000,000
Project Summary: This project provides analysis to state public utility commissions that are considering incremental and fundamental changes to electric utility regulation. It also enhances utility financial analysis modeling tools focused on ratemaking and regulatory issues that arise with increased penetration of distributed energy resources.

 

In addition to these crosscutting projects, the GMLC program-specific portfolio encompasses the SunShot National Laboratory Multiyear Partnership (SuNLaMP) projects in the Systems Integration subprogram. Learn more about Systems Integration competitive awards.