The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has released its new Grid Modernization Multi-Year Program Plan, a comprehensive blueprint to modernize the U.S. electrical power grid, and announced it will award up to $220 million in funding for a consortium of the DOE’s national laboratories and partners to carry out related research and development.
Awarded over a period of three years, the funding is intended to support the Grid Modernization Laboratory Consortium (GMLC) – including 14 national laboratories as well as industry, academia, and state and local government agency partners – in the development of advanced storage systems, clean energy integration, standards and test procedures, in addition to other key modernization areas.
According to the DOE, the Grid Modernization Multi-Year Program builds on concepts from its recently released Quadrennial Energy Review and Quadrennial Technology Review.
"Modernizing the U.S. electrical grid is essential to reducing carbon emissions, creating safeguards against attacks on our infrastructure, and keeping the lights on," says Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz.
The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) says it will be strongly supporting this effort, bringing its range of experts and resources together to participate in 48 of the 88 newly awarded projects.
‘The Grid Modernization Laboratory Consortium is a new way of efficiently leveraging the strengths and capabilities of America’s national laboratories to deploy new concepts and technologies that will make the grid cleaner, more productive and more secure,’ says Bryan Hannegan, NREL’s associate laboratory director and co-chair of the GMLC. ‘The projects announced today are an important first step toward achieving the DOE vision of a modernized grid for the nation.’
The DOE’s Energy Systems Integration Facility and National Wind Technology Center, both located at NREL, will serve as testing centers to deploy the grid technologies. NREL says both facilities are capable of supporting the development, evaluation and demonstration of new and innovative clean energy technologies.
The DOE says additional programs, initiatives and funding opportunities related to the Grid Modernization Initiative will be announced in the coming days. For more information on the Grid Modernization Initiative and the selected National Lab partnership projects, click here.