Office of Electricity

OE Announces Investment in Innovative Grid R&D into the Internet of Things

June 19, 2019

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I am pleased to announce that today the Office of Electricity (OE) released a $6.7 million funding opportunity announcement (FOA) to support the research and development (R&D) of innovative approaches to interfacing with advanced and rapidly-developing technologies typically found in industrial, commercial, and residential settings.  Our intent is to enhance the reliability and resilience of the nation’s power grid through the development of new approaches, methodologies, tools, techniques, and systems that maximize the bi-directional exchange of grid services while optimizing connectivity and information exchange at the interface between the grid edge and the Internet of Things (IoT).  We encourage universities, in partnership with industry, National Laboratories, other universities or research consortia, to develop solutions that can be used repeatedly and broadly to solve a wide range of challenges. 

Under this FOA, OE’s Resilient Distribution Systems Program will seek applications to develop and apply integration approaches involving the vast sensing, intelligence, and energy flexibility resources represented by the IoT, the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), and similar platforms increasingly used at the grid edge.  This R&D will help provide industry with innovative knowledge, technology, tools, and approaches that facilitate transparent, secure, and trusted interactions and service exchanges with “prosumers” (customers capable of both shaping their production and consumption of energy) by interfacing with  advanced technologies.

This FOA builds on DOE’s efforts to continue improving the resilience and security of the nation's energy infrastructure and is another important step in providing industry with new approaches in today’s rapidly-evolving energy landscape.  Applicants will be asked to address the scenario of maintaining energy surety to defense installations, where coordination between those facilities, a utility, and surrounding distributed energy resources (DERs) can extend the functioning of those facilities during power outages.  The advanced electricity delivery infrastructure and its associated communications network is changing all aspects of grid planning and operations, including new requirements for interoperability, cybersecurity, and the management of new troves of big data from advanced meters, sensors, and intelligent electronic devices.  The increased use of variable renewables and other DERs, smart or energy-efficient buildings, electric vehicles (EV), and energy storage requires the grid to be more resilient and responsive to rapidly-changing conditions.

This FOA strongly encourages participation by electric infrastructure research partners who will advise and participate in demonstrating a proof of concept.  Success will be measured based upon the ability of combined IoT and grid assets to enhance power system resilience in defense critical infrastructure scenarios, with demonstrable advances in scalability, interoperability, and trustworthiness.  Interested applicants must first submit a mandatory Concept Paper of their proposed project by July 17, 2019.  Only those submitting a Concept Paper by this deadline will be eligible to submit a FOA application. The deadline for submitting a FOA application is September 9, 2019. More information is available in the FOA HERE.