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Project Name: Solar-Assisted State-Aware and Resilient Infrastructure System
Funding Opportunity: Advanced Systems Integration for Solar Technologies: Situational Awareness and Resilient Solutions for Critical Infrastructure
SETO Subprogram: Systems Integration
Location: Salt Lake City, UT
SETO Award Amount: $4.5 million
Awardee Cost Share: $4 million

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

This project will create an automated resilience management system that will improve the situational awareness and flexibility of solar photovoltaic systems and increase the resilience of critical infrastructure, like hospitals, fire stations, and transport networks, in case of natural disasters or cyberattacks. To build the system, the project team will gather data from grid sensors and utility customers’ smart meters. Remote monitoring and control of distribution equipment will help keep the system aware of the state of the electric grid and avoid loss of service during a power outage.   

APPROACH

Using a kind of artificial intelligence known as deep learning; stochastic, or random, process modeling; and predictive control methods, the team will develop three sets of tools: communication and control systems that detect and respond to power outages, a data management system that can track both cyber and physical threats to the grid, and visualization software that lets operators easily see the state of the grid. To test and validate their solution, the team will implement the system in PacifiCorp distribution circuits that support critical infrastructure in Utah.

INNOVATION

The advanced data analytics and approaches to cybersecurity and grid control will help grid operators respond to grid events faster and with increased awareness. Solar energy and other kinds of distributed generation introduces new challenges to grid management because it increases the complexity of where power comes from and where it flows to, making innovations like this key to building electricity systems that distribute a lot of solar energy.