As the nation's energy mix evolves to comprise an expanding supply of green power, its distribution systems must also keep up with those changes. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is supporting research toward that end to encourage greater modernization and resiliency on the grid.
In September, the DOE announced an award of up to $32 million as part of its Grid Modernization Initiative. The award is being made through the Resilient Distribution Systems (RDS) Lab Call, which seeks to develop and validate innovative approaches to enhance the resilience of distribution systems with high penetration of clean, distributed energy resources (DERs). The awards will be made to members of a partnership of national laboratories, known as the Grid Modernization Laboratory Consortium (GMLC), and their public and private partners.
Seven awards were announced. An award of $6 million will be given to the Grid Resilience and Intelligence Platform (GRIP) project, a California effort that examines the capabilities of predictive analytics to anticipate, absorb and recover from grid events.
An award of $6.2 million was made to the Resilient Alaskan Distribution System Improvements using Automation, Network Analysis, Control, and Energy Storage (RADIANCE), which seeks to enhance the resilience methods for distribution grids under harsh weather, cyber-threats and dynamic grid conditions.
A project entitled, "Integration of Responsive Residential Loads into Distribution Management Systems," was awarded $6 million to Richland, Wash.'s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and its partners to research and validate open-source home energy management systems (HEMS) to support distribution resiliency.
Another $6 million was awarded to the CleanStart-DERMS project, also in California, to validate and demonstrate at scale a DER-driven mitigation, blackstart and restoration strategy for distribution feeders.
The Resilient Distribution Systems project was awarded $1.5 million to help Albuquerque's Sandia National Laboratory and its partners focus on effective integrated resource planning and metrics, control systems, and inverter-dominated islanding.
Finally, the Laboratory Valuation Analysis Team, which includes Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and several other labs, received $1.5 million to provide efficiency and consistency in performing valuation analysis across the entire Grid Modernization Initiative's portfolio of field validation projects.