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), the U.S. Department of Energy (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.