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Industry News
DOE launches new projects to modernize the electric grid

DOE's Energy Systems Integration Facility (ESIF) and National Wind Technology Center (NWTC), both located at NREL, will be key facilities for developing new technologies and serving as a testing center for the deployment of grid technologies.

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Posted on: 1/18/2016
Source: CompositesWorld

The U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz has announced up to $220 million in new funding for a consortium of DOE national laboratories and partners to support critical research and development over the next three years to help modernize our nation's electrical power grid. The secretary also announced the release of DOE's comprehensive new Grid Modernization Multi-Year Program Plan (MYPP), a blueprint for the department's research, development and demonstration agenda to enable a modernized grid.

"Modernizing the U.S. electrical grid is essential to reducing carbon emissions, creating safeguards against attacks on our infrastructure, and keeping the lights on," said Secretary Moniz "Our Quadrennial Energy Review and Quadrennial Technology Review identified needs and opportunities to invest in the grid. This public- private partnership between our National Laboratories, industry, academia, and state and local government agencies will help us further strengthen our ongoing efforts to improve our electrical infrastructure so that it is prepared to respond to the nation's energy needs for decades to come."

The Grid Modernization Laboratory Consortium (GMLC) involves 14 DOE National Laboratories and dozens of industry, academia, and state and local government agency partners across the country.

DOE's Energy Systems Integration Facility (ESIF) and National Wind Technology Center (NWTC), both located at NREL, will be key facilities for developing new technologies and serving as a testing center for the deployment of grid technologies. ESIF and the NWTC house a powerful collection of state-of-the-art capabilities that support the development, evaluation, and demonstration of innovative clean energy technologies.

Some of 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. 

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