Funding Program: SuNLaMP
SunShot Subprogram: Systems Integration
Location: Sandia National Laboratory, Albuquerque, NM
SunShot Award Amount: $2,700,000

This project will enable high penetrations of solar generation on the grid by updating the current technical metrics for grid communications with a new distributed control and communications architecture that clearly explains the impact of each metric on the grid. A clearer understanding of the variability of each metric will result in optimal levels of performance, reliability, cost and security.


Researchers will perform an assessment of potential distributed control structures for different grid functions to put the metrics in a broader context, which will then be used to develop a communications and control architecture. They will also identify an appropriate level of network security for different control functions and develop recommendations that provide the desired functionality while meeting the recommended levels of security. In addition, this project will identify and assess potential future grid locations that support higher penetrations of PV while minimizing the complexity of communications and control structures.


This project will add context to the communications target metrics, helping to identify areas where the metrics can be relaxed. This will result in significant cost savings that will be communicated to the PV, utility, and grid operator communities. By identifying reference control and communications architectures, this project will speed the adoption of distributed control approaches that will be required to reach high PV penetration on the grid.