Energy Provides $48M Toward Electric Grid Modernization Projects

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The projects will be managed by Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy, or ARPA-E.

The Energy Department this week announced $48 million in funding toward a new program that will improve the reliability, security and resiliency of the national power grid.

The program—called Unlocking Lasting Transformative Resiliency Advances by Faster Actuation of Power Semiconductor Technologies, or ULTRAFAST—will “support the development of faster, more capable power electronics for enhanced resiliency, reliability and control of power flow,” according to the Energy Department. The program will be managed by the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy, or ARPA-E, which strategically promotes and invests in the development of advanced energy technologies.

“A reliable and resilient grid is the key to protecting our power supply from outside threats and expanding America’s clean energy and transportation options,” Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm said in a statement. “Federal investments in tools and analysis to modernize our grid will put the nation on a path to meet President Biden’s climate goals and extend the benefits of a decarbonized energy and transportation sector to all corners of the country.”

According to Energy, ULTRAFAST project teams will develop concepts in:

  • Semiconductor material, device and/or power module level advances to enable faster switching and/or triggering at higher current and voltage levels.
  • Improved electromagnetic interference immunity.
  • Complementary sensing, packaging and thermal management technology.