This joint effort between the Department of Energy’s Office of Electricity and Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy aims to create useful tools and analysis for Puerto Rico to plan and operate its electric power grid with more resilience against future disruptions. It is part of the federal interagency effort to support the rebuilding of a more resilient energy system on the island after the devastation of Hurricane Maria in late September 2017.

Through the collaboration of five national laboratories, the first phase of the program focused on completing repairs and upgrades to transmission and distribution systems, resolving financial uncertainties, and developing initial microgrids. Phase 2 focuses on providing a portfolio of energy system modeling tools, analysis, and technical training  to support data-driven investment decisions in order to meet Puerto Rico’s long-term energy transition goals.

Learn about the projects at participating national labs below.


Argonne National Laboratory (ANL)

SETO Award Amount: $850,000
Principal Investigator: Mark Petri
Project Summary: This project is developing models that will simplify energy infrastructure investment decision-making processes. The models focus on the analysis of interdependencies of interconnected, cross-sector infrastructure systems serving Puerto Rico. 

National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)

SETO Award Amount: $2,100,000
Principal Investigator: Murali Baggu
Project Summary: This project is developing power system models and high-resolution solar resource data that will be used to help Puerto Rico system planners and operators manage grid reliability and conduct long-term planning for capacity expansion of renewable energy. NREL is also using its System Advisor Model tool to help homeowners, businesses, and utilities to analyze the costs and benefits of renewable energy systems.  

Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL)

SETO Award Amount: $800,000
Principal Investigator: Tom King
Project Summary: This project focuses on data server development of ORNL’s real-time power grid monitoring system to provide data storage, data cleaning, and real time data stream views. It lays the foundation for future online situational awareness tools that could include oscillation detection, generation trip and load drop detection, system islanding detection, and system transient stability assessment tools. The additional tools in this system can benefit Puerto Rico stakeholders in decision making on potential investments in solar and other distributed energy resources.

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL)

SETO Award Amount: $550,000
Principal Investigator: Jeff Dagle
Project Summary: This project is extending a geographic information system (GIS) -based tool that allows a system operator to explore end-use loads and candidate grid modernization technologies at each selected location. The web-based tool can be generalized to data sets from any utility and has the potential to provide much greater flexibility and utility for data capture and discovery. This will ensure that the new technologies being proposed to help improve grid resilience are examined with detailed engineering and cost analysis before deployment. The tool can be used by individuals with no engineering training to help prioritize potential infrastructure investments.

Sandia National Laboratories (SNL)

SETO Award Amount: $600,000
Principal Investigator: Ray Byrne
Project Summary: This project is working to improve SNL’s resilience node toolset, which uses microgrids and energy storage as the primary decision variables for a distribution system resilience investment portfolio. The new functionalities will broaden the options for integration of multiple distributed energy resource technologies including coupled solar plus battery storage, electric vehicle charging stations, and demand response. The toolset can also assess a power system’s constraints on siting and sizing of distributed energy resource technologies  in order to maximize the resilience benefits.

Learn more about SETO’s research areasfunding programs, and open funding opportunities.