Project Name: Autonomous and Resilient Operation of Energy Systems with Renewables
Funding Opportunity: Advanced Systems Integration for Solar Technologies: Situational Awareness and Resilient Solutions for Critical Infrastructure
SETO Subprogram: Systems Integration
Location: Princeton, NJ
SETO Award Amount: $5 million
Awardee Cost Share: $1.2 million

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

The goal of this project is to create and demonstrate a three-layer energy management system that will help secure the electric grid against physical threats and cyberattacks. This system will also help keep grid operators aware of the status of threats to the grid. If the grid operator is taken offline in an emergency, the system will maintain continuity of service through automatic coordination, and even restore the grid after a blackout to quickly resume power delivery to critical infrastructure, like fire stations and hospitals.


The team will construct a three-layer defense system against threats to the grid. The first layer will enable grid operators to assess the grid in real time and take immediate countermeasures against threats. The team will develop power-flow optimization algorithms and data-driven methods for analyzing cyberattacks to make these capabilities possible. The second layer will enable distributed coordination of microgrids in the event that the control system is taken offline. This layer will allow various distributed energy resources, such as solar and storage, to cooperatively maintain service without central control. The third layer will enable automatic restoration of the power system without human intervention. The team will develop ways for microgrids to automatically resume service after a large-scale blackout or other disruption. The three layers will be demonstrated at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.


This project will lead to new methods of managing various power system scenarios. Control centers will benefit from the development of new capabilities for analyzing cyberattacks and power flow. A framework for microgrid coordination will allow for distributed management of the power grid even in the absence of a central control. Autonomously restarting grid operations will more quickly restore power after blackouts and resume service to critical infrastructure.