The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL) are launching the Clean Energy Cybersecurity Accelerator, a technology partnership of federal experts, industry partners in the energy sector and innovators to accelerate the development of new cybersecurity solutions for the nation’s evolving grid.
The program will support efforts to modernize the grid, address cybersecurity vulnerabilities and create a grid that will withstand the transition to a clean energy economy in the effort to reach net-zero emissions by 2050.
“The transition to a clean energy economy will require groundbreaking cyber solutions to strengthen America’s grid security, protect our energy infrastructure and address the increasing threat of extreme weather events across the country,” says Deputy Secretary of Energy David M. Turk. “We are grasping the opportunity to build a grid that can dispatch historic amounts of renewable energy across the country while addressing grid vulnerabilities and positioning America for a clean energy future.”
The new program will encourage the rapid development of cybersecurity technologies by creating cybersecurity solutions providers to participate in cohorts that will share ideas, experience and threat intelligence as they test and validate their technologies in the lab.
Strategic direction and cost-sharing will be provided by an industry-led steering committee, as well as a federal advisory board with experts from DOE’s Office of Cybersecurity, Energy Security and Emergency Response and its Office of Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (EERE).
Proposed cybersecurity solutions will be evaluated using NREL’s Advanced Research on Integrated Energy Systems (ARIES) cyber range, developed with support from EERE. With connection to over 20 MW of energy system hardware, the ARIES cyber range provides one of the most advanced simulation environments and provides unparalleled real-time situational awareness and visualization to evaluate renewable energy system defenses. NREL is DOE’s primary national laboratory for renewable energy and energy efficiency research and development and is operated for DOE by the Alliance for Sustainable Energy, LLC.