In the US, the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) will lead two new pilots demonstrating how integrating clean distributed energy resources can improve the resiliency of grid system and secure energy supply.

The two smart grid pilots will be funded using part of $32 million announced this week by the US Department of Energy (DoE) to finance the implementation of seven projects to be deployed by national laboratories.

Amongst the seven projects receiving funding from the DoE, PNNL will participate in five of them but will, however, be a leader in two. The funding is being issued under the DoE’s Grid Modernisation Initiative, a programme designed to modernise the country’s energy system in line with emerging technologies, utility business models and customer demands.

PNNL's pilots

In a statement, PNNL says it will use Duke Energy’s distribution network as testbed of technologies and strategies to be trialled under the pilots.

Under the Increasing Distribution Resiliency using Flexible DER and Microgrid Assets Enabled by OpenFMB, PNNL will use DoE’s $6 million funding to showcase how utilities can stabilise grid networks through increased grid-DER integration.

The pilot in which Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory will participate include the deployment of on-site solar systems for consumers. The initiative will focus on the use of technologies to help the grid to be able to remotely locate faults and possess self-healing capabilities.

Using methodologies developed under the Grid Modernisation Laboratory Consortium, PNNL will lead the Laboratory Value Analysis Team to assess the economic value of smart grid and smart energy projects.

The Grid Modernisation Laboratory Consortium is a programme developed by the US DoE and national laboratories to bring together stakeholders from various sectors to collaborate on modernising the US grid system.

PNNL will partner with NREL, Argonne, Lawrence Berkeley and Sandia National Laboratories to understand factors such as outage cost, ancillary service costs, capital costs and energy demand status before and after deployment of DoE funded initiatives.

PNNL and other smart grid pilots

PNNL will also partner with other labs on three additional demonstrations aimed at validating new approaches and technologies to make the ageing grid more resilient and secure.

PNNL will participate in the Resilient Alaskan Distribution System Improvements using Automation, Network Analysis, Control and Energy Storage (RADIANCE) programme led by the Idaho National Laboratory. The initiative will network microgrids, energy storage and advanced measurement devices and employ solutions to protect the energy system from harsh weather and cyber attacks.

With the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, PNNL will participate in the Integration of Responsive Residential Loads into Distribution Management Systems in which home and distribution management systems will be used to monitor and control energy distribution and usage. [Department of Energy creating America’s electricity system of the future].

The Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory will be assisted by PNNL to demonstrate how DERs can be used to recover services during outages, under the CleanStart-DERMS.

These project awards and ensuing demonstrations are funded over three years.


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