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The Grid Modernization Initiative (GMI) represents a comprehensive Energy Department and partner collaboration, which accelerates the development of technology, modeling analysis, tools, and frameworks to help enable grid modernization adoption. The results of this work will enable grid operators and owners to measure, analyze, predict, protect, and better control the grid now and into the future.

As part of the GMI, the Energy Department announced funding in September 2017 of up to $32 million over three years for the Resilient Distribution Systems (RDS) Lab Call projects, which build upon the Grid Modernization Lab Call projects announced in 2015.. RDS projects work to develop and validate innovative approaches to enhance the resilience of distribution systems, including microgrids and with high penetration of clean distributed energy resources. A variety of technological advancements will be tested in rigorous field validations including control/coordination strategies, real-time system monitoring, robust communications infrastructure, grid planning and analytical platforms, and integration of multiple distributed energy resource technologies.

The Solar Energy Technologies Office (SETO) contributes partial funding to five projects in the RDS Lab Call.

Awards

CleanStart-DERMS

Lab Partners: Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
SETO Award Amount: $2,500,000
Total DOE Award Amount: $6,000,000
Project Summary: This project aims to validate and demonstrate at scale a mitigation and restoration strategy for distribution feeders that is based on distributed energy resources. This strategy integrates applied control, the communication and analytics layer, and a coordinated hierarchal solution so in cases of power outages, electricity can be restored using renewable energy. This work will improve customer reconnection times and help to lower costs for utilities as more distributed energy resources are added to the grid.

Grid Resilience and Intelligence Platform

Lab Partners: Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory
SETO Award Amount: $3,000,000
Total DOE Award Amount: $6,000,000
Project Summary: This project is working to anticipate, absorb, and recover from grid events by demonstrating predictive analytics capabilities, which combines state-of-the-art artificial intelligence and machine learning techniques and distributed energy resource controls. The goal is to enable faster recovery of the grid.

Increasing Distribution Resiliency Using Flexible Distributed Energy Resources and Microgrid Assets Enabled by OpenFMB

Lab Partners: National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
SETO Award Amount: $3,000,000
Total DOE Award Amount: $6,000,000
Project Summary: This project aims to accelerate the concept of deploying a resilient and secure distribution system with flexible operation of traditional assets, distributed energy resources, and microgrids using OpenFMB. OpenFMB is a framework that allows for loosely coupled, peer-to-peer messaging for fielded devices and systems at the grid's edge. Treating distributed energy resources and microgrids as boundary conditions will enable greater system flexibility through the use of settings that observe grid behaviors and adapt appropriately based off of the observations.

Designing Resilient Communities: A Consequence-Based Approach for Grid Investment

Lab Partner: Sandia National Laboratories
SETO Award Amount: $750,000
Total DOE Award Amount: $1,500,000
Project Summary: This project is working to solidify a framework for community resilience planning focused on grid modernization and investment involving key stakeholders including electric utilities. This project will investigate how a community can be designed to be resilient through coordinated grid investment, and how electric utilities can plan for resilience and benefit from these investments. The project will develop detailed case studies for San Antonio, Texas and Buffalo, New York.

Laboratory Valuation Analysis

Lab Partners: Argonne National Laboratory, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Sandia National Laboratories
SETO Award Amount: $750,000
Total DOE Award Amount: $1,500,000
Project Summary: This project provides consistency and efficiency in performing valuation analysis across the entire Grid Modernization Initiative portfolio of field validation projects using appropriate metrics. Using a cross-cutting approach will provide a consistent framework and approach in conducting the benefit/cost analysis, impact analysis, and broader synthesis of results from each project. The research team will facilitate information sharing on the consistent application of metrics and the valuation framework in field validation projects to various audiences.

 

Learn more about DOE’s Grid Modernization Initiative and other competitive awards in the SETO Systems Integration subprogram.