Pacific Northwest National Laboratory to aid power grid modernization effort

Published on December 16, 2019 by Douglas Clark

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Department of Energy (DOE) officials said the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) will play a vital role in the nation’s power grid modernization effort, leading a series of DOE-funded projects.

Under the Grid Modernization Initiative (GMI), DOE has earmarked approximately $80 million over three years to fund 23 projects across the country in the 2019 Grid Modernization Lab Call, noting the endeavors would make the nation’s power grid more resilient, flexible and secure.

“Creating a more resilient power grid for the country by developing new tools and innovative technologies is a core objective for PNNL,” Carl Imhoff, head of PNNL’s Electricity Infrastructure sector, said. “These new projects funded by DOE align with PNNL’s scientific capabilities and grid domain expertise, enabling us to partner with other national labs and industry to deliver meaningful impacts to grid resiliency, security, and flexibility.”

The PNNL will take the lead regarding solving scalability and usability challenges for advanced grid-modeling tools capable of comprehensively analyzing the interdependency of critical infrastructures. This will allow planners and operators to understand how the power grid behaves as a system better, enable networked microgrids and their component distributed energy resources (DERs) to operate in an intelligent manner using collaborative autonomy concepts to improve grid resiliency and strengthen power grid cybersecurity by using machine learning and artificial intelligence to allow the bulk power system to perform intrusion-tolerant operations while improving detection of compromised systems.

The 2019 Grid Modernization Lab Call focuses on resilience modeling, energy storage and system flexibility, advanced sensors and data analytics, institutional support and analysis, cybersecurity and physical security, and generation.