The United States Department of Energy has announced up to $7 million to advance the design of microgrids that will help communities become more adaptive and prepared for power outages caused by severe weather and other events.

The Microgrid Research, Development, and System Design funding opportunity targets teams of communities, technology developers and providers, and utilities to develop advanced commercial-grade microgrid controllers and system designs that will help communities take an innovative and comprehensive approach to microgrid design and implementation. Each applicant will be required to work with an entity or community to design microgrid systems of up to 10 MW, which is enough to power a small community. Additionally, applicants will be encouraged to design systems that protect critical infrastructure such as hospitals and water treatment plants.

“Improving the resiliency of the electric grid is essential to moving the nation towards a cleaner and more secure and efficient energy future,” said Assistant Secretary for Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability Patricia Hoffman. “Developing more advanced microgrid systems will help communities build stronger and smarter so they are better prepared for the effects of a changing climate.”

The closing date for applications is April 28, and it is expected that six awards will be made.