The Department of Energy is announcing awards of up to $50 million to DOE’s 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’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 DOE’s Grid Modernization 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 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.
Final award amounts are subject to negotiation, and subject to Congressional appropriations. The GMLC is part of DOE’s Grid Modernization Initiative, a comprehensive effort to help shape the future of the Nation’s grid and solve the challenges of integrating conventional and renewable sources with energy storage and smart buildings, while ensuring that the grid is resilient and secure to withstand growing natural and man-made hazards.
The Department 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.
Final award amounts are subject to negotiation. This effort continues the Energy Department’s long history of working closely with public and private partners toward achieving the energy sector’s Roadmap to Achieve Energy Delivery Systems Cybersecurity vision of resilient energy delivery systems that are designed, installed, operated and maintained to survive a cyber incident while sustaining critical functions. Since 2010, DOE has invested more than $270 million in cybersecurity research, development and demonstration projects that are led by industry, universities and DOE’s National Laboratories.
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