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NETL Powers Up to Improve Grid Security

NETL will develop four projects to protect the nation’s power grid and ensure reliable access to electricity.

Funding for the NETL work and other projects was allocated as part of the Grid Modernization Initiative, a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) program to improve access to secure sources of energy now and in the future.

Project proposals were submitted as part of the 2019 Grid Modernization Lab Call. Nearly 90 projects were submitted for evaluation. Project winners, which were announced Thursday, Nov. 7, will share approximately $80 million to be used over three years.

“NETL is honored to be a partner to move these projects forward. Our projects and others selected for funding possess the potential to not only enhance the reliability and resiliency of our power grid, but they also represent a major step to strengthen our national security,” said Brian J. Anderson, Ph.D., director of NETL.

“These projects will ensure that Americans continue to enjoy the benefits of unprecedented energy abundance, delivered across the grid of the future” Anderson added.

The new funding allocations will expand on work started in 2016, with two major distinctions. First, the portfolio of projects emphasizes a fully integrated vision of the energy system, from fuel to generation to load, including interdependent infrastructures while focusing on bulk-power system impacts. Also, the winning projects are expected to show meaningful results in 18 months to two years.

NETL, which includes research sites in Pittsburgh, Morgantown, West Virginia, and Albany, Oregon, will work with public and private partners, as well as university researchers, to complete these four projects:

  • Multi-Port Modular Medium-Voltage (M3) Transactive Power Electronics Energy Hub. This project will continue to develop smart power electronics hardware and software interfaces for grid applications. The project team will design, develop and demonstrate a direct grid connect Medium Voltage (up to 13.8 kV) Multiport power electronics “energy hub.”
  • Incipient Failure Identification for Common Grid Asset Classes. The project team will develop a novel approach to diagnose and prescribe remediation pathways for local short-term critical failures and central incipient growing problems in commonly utilized equipment throughout the country.
  • Blockchain for Optimized Security and Energy Management (BLOSEM). Work will focus on developing guidance, metrics and testing for technology maturation of novel concepts for device security, secure communications and grid resilience.
  • Water Risk for the Bulk Power System: Asset to Grid Impacts. This project aims to improve the reliability and resilience of the power sector by enabling utilities to evaluate impacts and risks associated with water resources. The project team will create an analysis platform that can provide environmental and economic benefits by aiding short-term operational and long-term investment decisions.

NETL develops and commercializes advanced technologies that provide reliable and affordable solutions to America’s energy challenges. NETL’s work supports DOE’s mission to advance the national, economic, and energy security of the United States.