Resilient Distribution Systems Lab Call Awards

Department of Energy

You are here

A reliable and resilient electric grid is critical not only to our national and economic security, but also to the everyday lives of American families.   The electricity system must continue to evolve to address a variety of challenges and opportunities such as severe weather and the cyber threat, a changing mix of types of electric generation, the ability for consumers to participate in electricity markets, the growth of the Internet of Things, and the aging of the electricity infrastructure. As part of the Grid Modernization Initiative (GMI), the Energy Department announced funding in September 2017 of up to $32 million over three years to the Grid Modernization Laboratory Consortium (GMLC) and their partners to advance resilient distribution systems, focusing on the integration of clean distributed energy resources (DER), advanced controls, grid architecture, and emerging grid technologies at a regional scale. 

This award is made through the Resilient Distribution Systems (RDS) Lab Call, which seeks to develop and validate innovative approaches to enhance the resilience of distribution systems, including microgrids, with high penetration of clean DERs. 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 DER technologies.  In addition, resilient distribution systems require advancements in cybersecurity technologies so that innovative grid technologies are designed from the earliest stages to survive a cyber-incident.  The project results are expected to deliver credible information on technical and economic viability of integrated solutions as well as demonstrate viability to key stakeholders who are ultimately responsible for making grid modernization investments. 

Grid modernization presents a complex bundle of technological, institutional and regulatory challenges which are constantly evolving.  This lab call specifically builds from the our work in the first lab call to the GMLC, the Grid Modernization Lab Call, and further supports the goals outlined in the Grid Modernization Multi-Year Program Plan (Grid MYPP).

Through the GMI and its Grid Modernization Multi-Year Program Plan (MYPP), DOE works with public and private partners to develop the concepts, tools, and technologies needed to measure, analyze, predict, protect, and control the grid of the future. The work helps to integrate conventional and renewable sources of electricity, solve challenges of energy storage and distributed generation, and provide a critical platform for U.S. competitiveness and innovation in a global clean energy economy.

The RDS Lab Call was jointly developed and funded by the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) and the Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability (OE).

A list of the projects and a map of the labs and location of the research appears below.  Note: funding amounts listed below are subject to appropriations and to final negotiations with award recipients. 

Participating National Laboratories

National Laboratory Acronym Location
Argonne National Laboratory ANL Argonne, IL
Idaho National Laboratory INL Idaho Falls, ID
Los Alamos National Laboratory LANL Los Alamos, NM
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory LBNL Berkeley, CA
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory LLNL Livermore, CA
National Renewable Energy Laboratory NREL Golden, CO
Oak Ridge National Laboratory ORNL Oak Ridge, TN
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory PNNL Richland, WA
SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory SLAC Menlo Park, CA
Sandia National Laboratory SNL Albuquerque, NM

 

Project Selections

Project Name

Description

Labs Partners Proposed Funding 
Grid Resilience and Intelligence Platform (GRIP)

The objective of this project is to anticipate, absorb, and recover from grid events by demonstrating predictive analytics capabilities, combining state-of-the-art artificial intelligence and machine learning techniques, and controlling DERs. 

Planned Outcome: Predictive analytics, machine learning, and AI will help anticipate and recover from grid events quicker.

SLAC

LBNL

NRECA, Southern California Edison, Packetized Energy, Vermont Electric Coop, Tesla, California Edison Commission, University of California Berkeley, Stanford University, University of Vermont

$6.0M

Over Three Years
 

Resilient Alaskan Distribution System Improvements using Automation, Network Analysis, Control, and Energy Storage (RADIANCE)

The objective of this project is to enhance the resilience methods for distribution grids under harsh weather, cyber-threats, and dynamic grid conditions using multiple networked microgrids, energy storage, and early-stage grid technologies. 

Planned Outcome: Using zonal approaches in multiple loosely and tightly networked microgrids will increase the resilience and resources on the grid.

lNL

SNL

PNNL

Siemens Corporation, Washington State University, Florida State University, New Mexico State University, Microgrid Solutions, City of Cordova, Cordova Electric Cooperative, Alaska Center for Energy and Power, Alaska Village Electric Cooperative

$6.2M

Over Three Years

 

Increasing Distribution Resiliency using Flexible DER and Microgrid Assets Enabled by OpenFMB

The objective to this project is to accelerate the deployment of resilient and secure distribution concepts through the flexible operation of traditional assets, DERs, and micogrids using OpenFMB.

Planned Outcome:  This change of treating DERs and microgrids as boundary conditions will enable more system flexibility with adaptive settings.

PNNL

ORNL

NREL

Anderson Civic Center, Muscatatuck Urban Training Center, Avista Utilities, Duke Energy, GE Grid Solutions, University of North Carolina Charlotte, University of Tennessee, Smart Electric Power Alliance 

$6.0M

Over Three Years 

Integration of Responsive Residential Loads into  Distribution Management Systems

The objective of this project is to research and validate open-source home energy management systems (HEMS) to support distribution resiliency use cases and end-to-end interoperability.

Planned Outcome: This project will validate interoperability and viability of distribution systems design.  Open-source specification and reference implementation will help utilities and co-ops to enable residential loads for grid services.

ORNL

PNNL

EPRI, NRECA, Southern Company, Tennessee Valley Authority, Duke Energy, Con Edison, Electric Power Board, Jackson EMC

$6.0M

Over Three Years 

CleanStart-DERMS

The objective of this project is to validate and demonstrate at scale a DER-driven mitigation, blackstart and restoration strategy for distribution feeders with integration of applied robust control, communications and analytics layer, and coordinated hierarchical solution.

Planned Outcome: Developments in this project will enable reduced cost, increased availability and redundancy of blackstart generation, improved customer reconnection time using real-time DER control tools.

LLNL

PNNL

LANL

Smarter Grid Solutions, EnSync,Winston Chung/EnerBlu, SolarEdge, PingThings, Riverside Utility, Southern California Public Power Authority, Pacific Gas and Electric, Southern California Edison, University of California Riverside

$6.0M 

Over Three Years

Resilient Distribution Systems This activity will focus on effective integrated resource planning and metrics, control systems, inverter-dominated islanding with storage and regional consortia SNL TBD

$1.5M 

Over Three Years

Laboratory Valuation Analysis Team This team will provide efficiency and consistency in performing valuation analysis across the entire GMI portfolio of field validation projects using appropriate metrics.  Using a cross-cut approach will provide a consistent framework and approach in conducting the benefit/cost analysis of each project, impacts analysis (e.g. potential benefits to region) and broader synthesis of results from this project call.   This team will facilitate information sharing on consistent application of metrics & valuation framework in field validation projects to various audiences.

PNNL

ANL

LBNL

SNL

NREL

N/A

$1.5M

Over Three Years

 

Map of the Research Locations

Resilient Distribution Systems Lab Call Awards: map of the research locations