The US Department of Energy has announced awards of up to $50 million to the Department of Energy National Laboratories to support early stage research and development of next-generation tools and technologies to further improve the resilience of the Nation’s critical energy infrastructure, including the electric grid and oil and natural gas infrastructure.
This investment builds on the Department of Energy’s ongoing efforts toward the rapid development and widespread adoption of tools and technologies that will help create a more resilient, secure, sustainable, and reliable electricity system that can meet the demands of the 21st century and beyond.
“A resilient, reliable, and secure power grid is essential to the Nation’s security, economy, and the vital services that Americans depend on every day,” said Secretary of Energy Rick Perry.
“As round-the-clock efforts continue to help communities recover from the devastation of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, the need to continue strengthening and improving our electricity delivery system to withstand and recover from disruptions has become even more compelling. By leveraging the world-class innovation of the National Laboratories and their partners, this investment will keep us moving forward to create yet more real-world capabilities that the energy sector can put into practice to continue improving the resilience and security of the country’s critical energy infrastructure.”
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.
Resilient Distribution Systems awards
The seven resilient distribution systems projects awarded through the Department of Energy Grid Modernisation Laboratory Consortium (GMLC) will develop and validate innovative approaches to enhance the resilience of distribution systems – including microgrids – with high penetration of clean distributed energy resources (DER) and emerging grid technologies at regional scale.
The project results are expected to deliver credible information on the technical and economic viability of the solutions. The projects will also demonstrate viability to key stakeholders who are ultimately responsible for approving and investing in grid modernization activities.
Department of energy and cybersecurity in the US
The Department of Energy is also announcing 20 cybersecurity projects that will enhance the reliability and resilience of the Nation’s electric grid and oil and natural gas infrastructure through innovative, scalable, and cost-effective research and development of cybersecurity solutions.
These technologies are expected to have broad applicability to the U.S. energy delivery sector by meeting the needs of the energy sector in a cost-effective manner with a clear path for acceptance by asset owners and operators.