US Department of Energy to spend $36 million to advance solar energy integration

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) selected several research projects to spend up to $36 million that will advance solar energy in strengthening the resilience of the electricity grid. With more and more solar being added to the U.S. electricity generation portfolio, these projects will enable grid operators to rapidly detect physical and cyber-based abnormalities in the power system and utilize solar generation to recover quickly from power outages, says the administration.
The projects will develop new technologies, including grid-forming inverters, cyber-secure communications for critical grid components during emergency operations, smart sensors, and automated control schemes. The research will culminate in grid management tools and models that show how solar situational awareness will enhance power system resilience at critical infrastructure locations such as hospitals or emergency response centers. The ministry selected the Arizona State University (Tempe, Arizona, $3.6 million), Kansas State University (Manhattan, Kansas, $2.9 million), North Carolina State University (Raleigh, North Carolina, $3 million), Siemens Corporation, Corporate Technology (Princeton, New Jersey, $5 million), University of North Carolina at Charlotte (Charlotte, North Carolina, $3.7 million), University of Oklahoma (Norman, Oklahoma, $4.5 million), and the University of South Florida (Tampa, Florida, $1 million).
Several research projects will also conduct field validation of the advanced technologies that they develop, including the Electric Power Research Institute, Inc. (Knoxville, Tennessee) with multiple partners, including Pecan Street and Austin Energy ($5 million), the Electrical Distribution Design, Inc. (Blacksburg, Virginia), partnering with Pepco ($3 million), and the University of Utah (Salt Lake City, Utah), partnering with PacificCorp ($4 million).

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