A new grid modernization blueprint released by the Department of Energy (DOE) on January 14 seeks to integrate conventional and renewable power sources with energy storage and efficiency measures, while ensuring the grid is resilient against cyberattacks and climate change threats.
The DOE said that the plan will help “frame new grid architecture design elements, develop new planning and real-time operations platforms, provide metrics and analytics to improve grid performance, and enhance government and industry capabilities for designing the infrastructure and regulatory models needed for successful grid modernization.”
Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz announced the release of DOE’s comprehensive new Grid Modernization Multi-Year Program Plan at a utility control center in Miami, Fla. He also announced the award of up to $220 million over three years to 14 national laboratories across the nation, though those funds must first be approved by Congress.
The DOE said that the outcomes of these projects will include:
- A national network of laboratory facilities for use in testing and validation of emerging grid-related technologies and systems
- New common standards and test procedures to ensure that emerging grid technologies can communicate with one another and work together to provide energy services to customers
- New decision support tools for integrated planning and operation of distributed energy technologies, such as solar, demand response, and smart consumer appliances
- Advances in grid design and planning tools to take into account the increasing number of emerging technologies being deployed on the grid in homes, businesses, and communities
- Optimal approaches for integration of wind turbines, solar PV systems, smart buildings, electric and fuel cell vehicles, and hydrogen technologies into a modernized grid
- A new testbed for development of advanced distribution management systems that will allow grid operators to more effectively utilize grid assets, increase resilience and reliability, and enable a wider choice of energy services for consumers
—Sonal Patel, associate editor (@POWERmagazine, @sonalcpatel)