You are here

Project Summary

This project will deploy advanced technologies and methods to support operations that enhance grid resiliency in Cordova, Alaska under harsh weather, cyber-threats, and dynamic grid conditions. The deployment will use multiple networked microgrids, energy storage— including pumped storage hydropower—and early-stage grid technologies. This project introduces the concept of resilience-by-design, i.e., incorporating a cybersecure resilience framework with real-time sensing and controls at the design stage. This project was awarded under the U.S. Department of Energy’s Resilient Distribution Systems Lab Call, which seeks to develop and validate innovative approaches to enhance the resiliency of distribution systems, including microgrids, with high penetration of clean distributed energy resources.

Project Snapshot
Project TitleResilient Alaskan Distribution System Improvements using Automation, Network Analysis, Control, and Energy Storage (RADIANCE)
AwardeeIdaho National Laboratory
Awardee HQ LocationIdaho
DOE Funding Amount$6,200,000
Program AreaPSH and Hydro Grid Reliability
Recipient TypeLaboratory
Award TypeAnnual Operating Plan
Year Awarded2017
Work LocationsAlaska, District of Columbia, Florida, Idaho, New Mexico, Washington
Congressional District(s)AK-AL, DC-AL, FL-2, ID-2, NM-1, NM-2, WA-4, WA-5


What You Need to Know


Cordova’s previous energy efficiency and conservation projects have helped reduce use of costly diesel fuel and associated environmental impacts. However, like many microgrids, Cordova’s microgrid lacks any advanced sensing, smart reconfiguration, or energy storage with the capability to operate as multiple networked microgrids. This makes the city’s power supply vulnerable under conditions of harsh weather, dynamic seasonal loads, and, as with all communities, the increasing threat of cyberattacks. Resiliency-enhanced operation is necessary for modernizing Cordova’s microgrid and for accelerating the adoption of cyber-resilient microgrids in other locations.

  • Field validation will minimize the deployment risk of modern power and cyber technologies.
  • Field data will provide insights into practical use of resilience metrics.
  • Cordova will gain a more resilient and secure grid with enhanced energy storage that reduces the need for diesel fuel.
  • This project will enable the Alaska Village Electric Cooperative to operate its 58 dispersed village communities as loosely-networked microgrids in coordination with larger utilities in Fairbanks and Anchorage.
  • This project will improve planning and energy resiliency in Alaska.
  • Field validation will minimize the deployment risk of modern power and cyber technologies.
  • Field data will provide insights into the practical use of resilience metrics.
  • By disseminating information from this project to electric cooperatives across the United States, this project will help improve resiliency across the nation.
  • Model and test the design and operation of the cyber-resilient microgrid through linked testbeds at U.S. Department of Energy laboratories using a digital, real-time simulation of the existing Cordova microgrid.
  • Simulation-based testing of pumped storage hydropower as part of microgrids under various dynamic seasonal conditions.
  • Deploy and validate the multiple-networked microgrids in Cordova.
  • Use zonal approaches in multiple loosely and tightly networked microgrids to increase the resilience and resources on the grid.
  • Provide upgrades and modifications through multiple networked microgrids, through micro-phasor-measurement-unit-based sensing, and by coordinating energy storage.
  • Economic analysis of design configurations and technologies for pumped storage hydropower.
  • Disseminate the lessons and information from this project to more than 800 electric cooperatives across the United States.

Project Partners

Sandia National Laboratories
Microgrid Design Toolkit, control testbed, protection systems, field deployment
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
Micro phasor measurement units (micro-PMUs) placement, fault propagation, communication networks and protocols
Siemens Corporation
Energy storage management system
Washington State University
Resilience metrics, valuation analysis, baseline
Florida State University
Micro-PMU testbed
New Mexico State University
Microgrid design, stability analysis
City of Cordova
Demonstration site
Cordova Electric Cooperative
Utility partner, engineering support, field deployment
University of Alaska Fairbanks, Alaska Center for Energy and Power
University partner, rural microgrid research, microgrid and communication design, field deployment, utility interaction
Alaska Village Electric Cooperative
Dissemination of lessons and information from this project to 50 remote village communities across Alaska

About the Water Power Technologies Office

The U.S. Department of Energy's Water Power Technologies Office enables research, development, and testing of emerging technologies to advance marine energy as well as next-generation hydropower and pumped-storage systems for a flexible, reliable grid.