Siemens to enhance US grid network in $6.4 million DoE contract


The US Department of Energy (DoE) has selected Siemens to strengthen the resilience of the nation’s grid system and critical infrastructure.

The $6.4 million contract includes Siemens conducting research and development on energy management systems for solar and microgrid technologies.

The aim is to enhance grid resiliency by ensuring distributed microgrids connected to the grid work efficiently, enable autonomous grid operation and safeguard energy systems against cyber and physical threats.

For instance, a system to be developed will increase grid resilience against natural disasters or cyber-attacks as well as autonomously restore power during a blackout using smart inverters.

The project falls under efforts to increase the amount of solar connected to the main grid.

Collaborative efforts between Siemens and the DOE are expected to begin by summer 2019.

The deal expands the partnership between Siemens and the DOE’s National Laboratories to modernise the nation’s electric grid.

In January 2019, CT signed an MOU with National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), to conduct integrated experiments within their respective research and development facilities to help integrate innovative power electronic devices with the electric grid, including smart inverters for solar panels, batteries, and electrical vehicles that are capable of supporting the nation’s power system.

The Siemens CT team will be led by Ulrich Muenz and Sindhu Suresh and work with partners from DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Columbia University, Siemens Digital Grid and Holy Cross Energy to develop, validate, and demonstrate a highly innovative, three-layer Energy Management System (EMS) for Autonomous and Resilient Operation of Energy systems with RenewaAbles (AURORA).

“The increasing deployment of distributed solar resources gives grid operators like Holy Cross Energy an opportunity to rethink the design and operation of our electric power system, in ways that utilize these local assets to not only deliver value to the consumer, but also to enable and enhance the reliability and resilience of the power systems in which they are embedded. By working with Siemens and collaborators in this very important project, we will get a window into the future self-driving grid and discover the most important steps we need to take to get ourselves ready for it,” says Bryan Hannegan, CEO of Holy Cross Energy.