Energy Department Invests $26 Million to Support Clean Electric Grid

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The funding will be spread across eight projects in 13 states and U.S. territories.

The Biden Administration Wednesday announced $26 million in funding to demonstrate how solar, wind, storage and other clean energy resources can support a modern, resilient and clean energy grid.

Through the Energy Department, the funding will be distributed to eight selected projects across 15 sites, including 13 states and Puerto Rico, and build on numerous Energy Department-led efforts to combat climate change and promote clean energy.

“As threats and climate risks to America’s energy infrastructure continue to evolve, DOE is laser-focused on ensuring our power grid is strong and reliable as it incorporates a historic level of renewable resources,” Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm said in a statement. “Thanks to President Biden’s Investing in America agenda, today’s announcement will help build a resilient grid that the American people can trust to deliver reliable, affordable, clean electricity to their homes and businesses.”

The funding will flow through the Solar and Wind Grid Services and Reliability program to research teams consisting of “utilities, laboratories, universities and industry” to test how wind and solar power plants can more reliably transmit clean energy across power networks. According to the Energy Department, wind and solar energy could provide up to 80% of power generation on a clean electric grid.

Per the Energy Department announcement, the selected projects are:

  • Consolidated Edison (New York, NY): This project will demonstrate transmission protection strategies in New York and Virginia that will result in fewer outages as the grid moves to inverter-based generation. The success of this project will demonstrate to the transmission system protection, operation and planning industries that the grid can operate safely and reliably with any mix of energy sources—including up to 100% inverter-based resource generation. (Award Amount: $3 million)
  • Electric Power Research Institute (Knoxville, TN): This project will work with multiple balancing authorities and utilities to perform demonstrations of grid services at sites across Michigan, Nebraska, Texas, New Mexico and California. The team aims to demonstrate the capability of these technologies to provide a collection of grid services reliably and over a period longer than what has been demonstrated in the past. (Award Amount: $3.4 million)
  • General Electric Renewable Energy (Schenectady, NY): This project will demonstrate grid-forming inverters at the Great Pathfinder wind plant in Iowa. This demonstration will encourage confidence in grid operators to consider wind power plants as a more flexible stand-alone resource that can provide grid services over extended periods of time. (Award Amount: $3.5 million)
  • National Renewable Energy Laboratory (Golden, CO): This project aims to further the understanding of the transmission grid’s behavior in response to faults in scenarios with high levels of inverter-based resource. The team will demonstrate strategies to protect the grid in Hawaii from rapid changes in generation, and develop new fault detection methods that will result in more reliable transmission. (Award Amount: $2 million)
  • Pacific Gas and Electric Company (Oakland, CA): This project will develop an automated analysis tool for utility engineers to address rapid changes in the electric grid, such as increased solar generation. If successful, the tool can be incorporated in commercial platforms used by transmission utilities and system operators nationwide. (Award Amount: $2.5 million)
  • Portland General Electric Company (Portland, OR): This project will demonstrate grid-forming inverters at the Wheatridge Renewable Energy Facility in Oregon, North America's first energy center to combine wind, solar and energy storage systems in one location. If successful, this will be the first bulk power system-connected grid-forming hybrid power plant in the United States and will encourage utilities to consider including grid-forming capabilities in their own interconnection requirements. (Award Amount: $4.5 million)
  • University of Illinois at Chicago (Chicago, IL): This project uses an innovative modeling, protection and control framework to ensure reliable operation of a bulk power system with 100% of its generation coming from IBRs, which have much different fault characteristics than traditional synchronous generators. This project will demonstrate protection strategies in Illinois and Puerto Rico that will result in fewer outages. (Award Amount: $3 million)
  • Veritone, Inc. (Denver, CO): This project aims to boost confidence in renewable power using Veritone’s artificial intelligence-powered distributed energy resource management system technology. The AI-powered platform will be used to forecast, optimize, and control IBRs on New Mexico’s power grid in real-time. (Award Amount: $3.9 million)