DOE funding to improve power grid resiliency

Microgrids have the ability to cost-effectively integrate energy storage, distributed generation such as renewables and support demand management programs

The Department of Energy (DOE) announced up to $7 million to advance the design of smart grid technologies that will help communities become more adaptive and prepared for power outages caused by severe weather and other events.

Microgrids, are localized grids that are normally connected to the more traditional electric grid but can disconnect to operate autonomously and manage and control the flow of electricity and help mitigate grid disturbances. Microgrids also have the ability to cost-effectively integrate energy storage, distributed generation such as renewables and support demand management programs.

“Improving the resiliency of the electric grid is essential to moving the nation towards a cleaner and more secure and efficient energy future,” said Assistant Secretary for Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability Patricia Hoffman. “Developing more advanced microgrid systems will help communities build stronger and smarter so they are better prepared for the effects of a changing climate. This funding is another important step in our drive to partner with communities, developers, and utilities in this area of critical importance.”

The “Microgrid Research, Development, and System Design” Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) supports the goal of “building stronger and safer communities and infrastructure” as set forth in the president’s Climate Action Plan and supports implementation of Executive Order 13653 by making climate-resilient investments in states, local communities, and tribes.

The FOA targets teams of communities, technology developers and providers, and utilities to develop advanced microgrid controllers and system designs that will help communities take an innovative and comprehensive approach to microgrid design and implementation. Each applicant will be required to work with an entity or community to design microgrid systems of ≤10 MW which is enough to power a small community. Additionally, applicants will be encouraged to design systems that protect critical infrastructure such as hospitals and water treatment plants.

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