US DOE announces $7m funding for improving electric grid resiliency

9 February 2014 (Last Updated February 9th, 2014 18:30)

The US Department Energy (DOE) has announced up to $7m in funding to support the development of new advanced microgrids that will help communities bolster their resiliency.

The US Department Energy (DOE) has announced up to $7m in funding to support the development of new advanced microgrids that will help communities bolster their resiliency.

The funding opportunity announcement supports the objective of 'building stronger and safer communities and infrastructure' as part of the president's Climate Action Plan.

Known as 'Microgrid Research, Development, and System Design', the funding programme is seeking applications until 28 April 2014 for financial assistance awards to enable microgrid development to overcome key challenges facing broad adoption of microgrids for key commercial applications.

The programme requires applicants to work with an entity or community to design advanced microgrid systems of at least 10MW, enough to power a small community and develop systems to protect critical infrastructure such as hospitals and water treatment plants.

The microgrid technology has a significant feature that it can disconnect from the traditional electric grid and operate autonomously and manage and control the flow of electricity, reducing grid disturbances.

"The programme requires applicants to work with an entity or community to design advanced microgrid systems of at least 10MW."

In addition to this, these localised grids normally connected to the traditional electric grid could also cost-effectively integrate storage, distributed generation such as renewables, and back demand management programs.

US assistant secretary for electricity delivery and energy reliability Patricia Hoffman said improving the resiliency of the electric grid is necessary to moving the nation towards a cleaner and more secure and efficient energy future.

"Developing more advanced microgrid systems will help communities build stronger and smarter so they are better prepared for the effects of a changing climate," said Hoffman.

"This funding is another important step in our drive to partner with communities, developers and utilities in this area of critical importance."

Energy