The Solar and Wind Grid Services and Reliability Demonstration funding program aims to demonstrate the reliable operation of power systems that have up to 100% of their power contribution coming from solar, wind, and battery storage resources.
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Solar Energy Technologies Office (SETO) and Wind Energy Technologies Office (WETO) announced the Grid Services funding opportunity on August 2, 2022 and the eight selected projects on May 10, 2023.
Grid services largely involve electric generators maintaining stable grid voltages and frequencies and are critical to maintain the reliability and resilience of the electric power grid. Because new wind and solar generation are interfaced with the grid through power electronic inverters, they have different characteristics and dynamics than traditional sources of generation that currently supply these services. The projects in this funding program support the development of controls and methods to demonstrate that a grid fully powered by inverter-based resources (IBRs) can reliably operate with services provided by wind and solar generation.
These projects will help increase the reliability of energy systems as more solar and wind energy are added to the grid, which will help achieve a decarbonized electricity sector by 2035.
– Award and cost share amounts are rounded and subject to change pending negotiations –
Topic 1: Wind and Solar Grid Services Design, Implementation, and Demonstration
Electric Power Research Institute
Project Name: Collaborative Ancillary Service Accelerator for Renewables (CASAR)
Location: Knoxville, TN
DOE Award Amount: $3.4 million
Awardee Cost Share: $3.4 million
Principal Investigator: Erik Ela
Project Description: This project is developing a multi-level control architecture for power systems that supports ancillary services to the grid, including active and reactive power event and non-event reserve services. The team aims to demonstrate the capability of these technologies to provide a collection of bulk system ancillary services reliably and over a period longer than what has been demonstrated in the past, which will instill confidence in the new technology from system operators. Additionally, the new architecture will be able to offer these grid services more cost effectively and will improve how often these services would be available to the grid.
GE Renewable Energy
Project Name: GRID-READY WIND: Reliable and Economical Grid Services Design, Implementation and Demonstration at the Great Pathfinder Wind Power Plant
Location: Schenectady, NY
DOE Award Amount: $3.5 million
Awardee Cost Share: $3.5 million
Principal Investigator: Rojan Bhattarai
Project Description: This project aims to design, implement, and demonstrate reliable and economical grid services with grid-following and grid-forming IBRs. The work is primarily taking place at the Great Pathfinder wind power plant in Iowa. The project includes a commercial-scale demonstration of grid services using emerging grid-forming technology in Type-III wind turbines with electricity output controlled by converters. This demonstration will encourage confidence in service operators to consider wind power plants as a more flexible stand-alone resource that can provide grid services over extended periods of time. This has the potential to spur further adoption of IBRs and ensure the United States meets its 2035 net-zero power sector goals. This project is jointly funded by WETO and SETO.
Portland General Electric Company
Project Name: Demonstration of Grid Services by a 300-MW Wind, Solar and Battery Storage Combined Power Plant with Mixed Grid-Forming and Grid-Following Technologies
Location: Portland, OR
DOE Award Amount: $4.5 million
Awardee Cost Share: $4.5 million
Principal Investigator: Song Wang
Project Description: This project aims to demonstrate grid services using mixed grid-forming and grid-following technologies at the Wheatridge Renewable Energy Facility in Oregon, North America's first energy center to combine wind, solar, and energy storage systems in one location. The project team will establish a two-way communication channel between grid engineers and inverter vendors so they can collaborate to better understand the effects of grid-forming IBRs on the grid and provide feedback to inverter vendors of the real needs of the power grid. If successful, this will be the first bulk power system-connected grid-forming inverter-based power plant in the United States. The success of this project will greatly encourage utilities to consider including grid-forming capabilities in their own interconnection requirements.
Project Name: Advanced Reliability and Resiliency Operations for Wind and Solar (ARROWS)
Location: Denver, CO
DOE Award Amount: $3.9 million
Awardee Cost Share: $3.9 million
Principal Investigator: Ben Sigrin
Project Description: This project aims to boost confidence in renewable power investment using Veritone’s artificial intelligence-powered distributed energy resource management system (iDERMS) technology. The AI-powered platform will be used to forecast, optimize, and control IBRs on New Mexico’s power grid in real-time. Field and lab tests of the technology will enable Veritone to collect, analyze, and quantify the overall energy savings and determine how successfully it integrates IBRs against a backdrop of variable renewable power output and storage.
Topic 2: Protection of Bulk Power Systems with High Contribution from Inverter-Based Resources
Con Edison Company of New York
Project Name: Reliable Protection for an Inverter-Based Resources Dominant Grid: Technology Development and Field Demonstration
Location: New York, NY
DOE Award Amount: $3 million
Awardee Cost Share: $1.4 million
Principal Investigator: William Winters
Project Description: This project is working to improve existing grid protection strategies and enable new technologies to maintain reliable system protection in systems with a very large number of IBRs. This will be accomplished through advances to protection study modeling and simulation capabilities. The technologies under development will be prototyped on commercially-available equipment and field tested by participating utilities from U.S. Eastern and Western interconnections to address diverse technical, regional, and regulatory aspects. The success of this project will inspire nationwide confidence in the transmission system protection, operation, and planning industries that the grid can operate safely and reliably at any mix of synchronous and IBR generation—including up to 100% IBR generation.
National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Project Name: Protection of Inverter-dependent Transmission Systems (PROTECT-IT)
Location: Golden, CO
DOE Award Amount: $2 million
Awardee Cost Share: $600,000
Principal Investigator: Jing Wang
Project Description: The National Renewable Energy Laboratory, with partners University of Idaho, Kauai Island Utility Cooperative, Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories, Tesla, and the Public Service Company of New Mexico, are investigating the impact of high levels of IBRs on bulk power transmission protection systems. As the amount of IBRs connected to the grid increases, fault behaviors are becoming less understood and predictable. This project aims to further the understanding of the transmission grid’s behavior in response to faults in high-IBR scenarios and to develop technologies and system design strategies to maintain transmission grid reliability in high-IBR scenarios.
Pacific Gas and Electric Company
Project Name: A Sensitivity-Driven Wide Area Protection (SWAP) Coordination Tool for High Penetration of Inverter Based Resources
Location: Oakland, CA
DOE Award Amount: $2.5 million
Awardee Cost Share: $700,000
Principal Investigator: Mike Jensen
Project Description: This project is developing an analysis tool for power systems that have large amounts of IBRs, which can be incorporated in commercial platforms used by transmission utilities and system operators nationwide. This technology offers a comprehensive strategy for evaluating new protection schemes in bulk power systems by incorporating IBR model enhancement, a novel protection coordination software platform, a risk-averse protection solution, and a validation and feasibility analysis tool. The goal is to identify and apply alternative structures for bulk power systems that can significantly minimize any miscoordination of IBRs.
University of Illinois at Chicago
Project Name: Enabling 100% Renewable Energy Integration: Creativity-based Co-design and Demonstration of Intelligent Modeling, Protection, and Grid-edge Control of Bulk Power Systems
Location: Chicago, IL
DOE Award Amount: $3 million
Awardee Cost Share: $1.1 million
Principal Investigator: Lina He
Project Description: This project uses an innovative modeling, protection, and control framework to ensure reliable operation of a bulk power system with 100% of its generation coming from IBRs, which have much different fault characteristics than traditional synchronous generators. Existing protection simulation software uses a simple model to represent a complex IBR system without consideration of its dynamics. The IBR model under development by this project will be able to perform accurate protection simulation and be easily implemented in the existing commercial simulation software.