Office of Electricity

Energy Department Invests Over $2 Million to Improve Grid Resiliency and Climate Preparedness

August 10, 2015

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Today, I am pleased to announce up to $2.5 million in funding to help four communities that have suffered a Presidentially Declared Major Disaster over the past 30 years better prepare for the future effects of a changing climate. This investment, funded through the Resilient Electricity Delivery Infrastructure Funding Opportunity Announcement, will allow communities in California, Colorado, Florida, and New York to deploy smart grid tools and technologies that can help prevent power outages, reduce storm impacts, and restore service faster.

Congratulations to the four selected projects below!  

  • The Sacramento, CA Municipal Utility District will improve the resiliency of its electrical grid and mitigate the impacts of natural disasters and climate change by implementing automated switches and conservation voltage reduction (CVR) technology. Automated switches installed on the distribution system will allow for the balancing of power flows, reduce the number of customers without power during emergencies, and enable the integration of more renewables and distributed energy resources. The installation of CVR will allow voltages at the substation to be reduced while still maintaining voltages within specification, thus reducing the amount of energy used on the system.
  • The City of Boulder, Colorado, will develop a resilient direct current microgrid with distributed energy resources at its Betasso Water Treatment Facility to improve resiliency and efficiency. The City of Boulder will also partner with DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory to use its Renewable Energy Optimization (REopt) tool to identify and prioritize the selection and installation of distributed energy resources and battery storage technologies in the most cost-effective way to meet the facility’s energy goals.
  • The City of Homestead, Florida, will install supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) controlled automated feeder switches and advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) technology on feeders that serve the City’s critical infrastructure. The SCADA system will be upgraded to pull information from the automated switches for real-time system monitoring and tracking of reliability, and the AMI technology will gather and transmit information generated by customers’ smart meters. The project is expected to reduce the frequency and duration of outages and improve reliability. The City of Homestead is part of the Southeast Florida Regional Climate Change Compact, which is one of 16 U.S. Climate Action Champions recognized by the White House in December, 2014 for their leadership on climate change.
  • The Incorporated Village of Rockville Centre, New York, will upgrade the municipality’s SCADA system and install advanced technologies (remote terminal units and intelligent electronic device relays) to allow the Village to monitor system health, reduce outage frequency, and identify and respond to outages in near real-time. This technology will also lay the groundwork for the management of microgrids which are localized grids that can disconnect from the traditional grid to operate autonomously and help mitigate grid disturbances to strengthen grid resilience.

As we face extreme weather events and other potential disruptions in the future, continuing to strengthen and modernize critical energy infrastructure and improve the resilience of our electric grid is critical. For more information about our ongoing efforts to help ensure a resilient, reliable, and flexible electricity system, visit the OE website.