Project Name: Enabling Cybersecurity, Situational Awareness, and Resilience in Distribution Grids with High Penetration of Photovoltaics
Funding Opportunity: Advanced Systems Integration for Solar Technologies: Situational Awareness and Resilient Solutions for Critical Infrastructure
SETO Subprogram: Systems Integration
Location: Manhattan, KS
SETO Award Amount: $2.8 million
Awardee Cost Share: $700,000

-- Award and cost share amounts are subject to change pending negotiations --

This project team will create and test new tools that improve situational awareness on the electric grid and protect it from cyber intrusions. With more renewable capacity on the power system, solar photovoltaics (PV) and other distributed energy resource generation has changed how the power system operates. This project will provide utilities with better tools to use data generated from devices such as inverters, smart meters, and sensors to monitor and operate the grid.


The team will design novel approaches to determine the current operation status of the grid, explore new strategies that can predict undesirable voltages on the grid, and proactively manage PV resources to maintain service to hospitals and other critical infrastructure. They will develop algorithms for these tasks and create a large utility-scale test system to validate them. They will also make grid-interactive inverters that automatically learn from attempted cyberattacks and work to mitigate them, and develop new sensitivity analysis techniques that identify parts of the grid that could cause major disruptions if taken offline. The team will test their systems at both low and high levels of solar penetration, along with a range of simulated cyber impairments.


New state estimation technologies will make grids more visible to system operators so they can use the resulting data to make better grid-management choices. The cybersecurity measures will give grid operators greater awareness of possible attacks and enable them to respond quickly. The new sensitivity analysis will allow operators to identify and strengthen critical infrastructure to avoid cyber and physical risks. This project will provide realistic assessment of these innovations in a variety of contexts. These advances will help to ensure reliable, resilient, and secure integration of solar energy onto the U.S. electric grid.