Argonne National Laboratory

Argonne to lead 8 DOE Grid Modernization Projects

January 14, 2016

The U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE's) Argonne National Laboratory will receive about $19 million in funding and will lead eight projects as part of the Grid Modernization Laboratory Consortium (GMLC) announced earlier today by DOE. Argonne will participate as a partner in 23 other GMLC projects.

DOE announced that it plans to award up to $220 million over three years, subject to congressional appropriations, to DOE's national laboratories and partners to support critical research and development in advanced storage systems, clean energy integration, standards and test procedures, and a number of other key grid modernization areas.

"Modernizing the U.S. electrical grid is essential to reducing carbon emissions, creating safeguards against attacks on our infrastructure, and keeping the lights on," said Secretary Moniz. "Our Quadrennial Energy Review and Quadrennial Technology Review identified needs and opportunities to invest in the grid. This public-private partnership between our National Laboratories, industry, academia, and state and local government agencies will help us further strengthen our ongoing efforts to improve our electrical infrastructure so that it is prepared to respond to the nation's energy needs for decades to come."

The Grid Modernization Initiative represents a comprehensive DOE effort to help shape the future of our nation's grid and solve the challenges of integrating conventional and renewable sources with energy storage and smart buildings, while ensuring that the grid is resilient and secure to withstand growing cyber security and climate challenges. Today's announcements fall under the Grid Modernization Initiative's framework.

"Argonne researchers are pleased to bring their long history and expertise in power grid research and development to this concerted effort to modernize the nation's aging grid," said Argonne Director Peter B. Littlewood, who has provided Senate testimony on the importance of the future grid. "This is a massive and essential effort, and partnering with industry will enable Argonne and our sister DOE national laboratories to methodically address and achieve each of the goals outlined in the DOE's new grid modernization plan."

The GMLC initiative represents a truly new way of organizing capabilities across DOE to address a complex challenge, said Guenter Conzelmann, Director of Argonne's Center for Energy, Environmental, and Economic Systems Analysis. "This initiative gives us an opportunity to make a difference and help move the nation's grid into the 21st century," Conzelmann said. "Our scientists will make critical contributions from foundational research in grid architecture, interoperability, sensing and measurement, advanced mathematical algorithms, and grid service valuation to developing new innovative tools for grid planning and operations. We are excited to work with the GMLC and our project partners at other labs and in industry and academia on these key strategic grid research topics."

Some of Argonne's projects will address issues with integrating large shares of solar and wind power into the grid and identify solutions to operating cost-effective and reliable electricity markets with large penetration of renewables, Conzelmann said. Other awards will allow Argonne to expand on and advance existing lab research and lab-developed technologies that will have a direct impact on the reliability and resilience of our grid.

For example, Argonne research will build upon a grid modeling, simulation, analysis and visualization tool called TS3ph to help utility planners more thoroughly understand cascading grid failures that may lead to large blackouts. Under a complementary project, researchers will develop a tool that will help utilities prepare for major disasters by improving and speeding up the power restoration after events such as winter storms or hurricanes.

Below is a complete list of Argonne led-projects under the GMLC.

  • Computational Science for Grid Management
    Address increasing computational complexity and reduced time-to-solution requirements for grid planning
    Funding award: $1.5 million over three years
    Partners: PNNL, NREL, SNL, LLNL, LANL, PJM, and ISO-New England
  • Integrated Tool for Improving Grid Performance and Reliability of Combined Transmission-Distribution with High Solar Penetration
    Develop a software tool suite, comprising of three tools, for improving grid reliability and performance of combined transmission-distribution systems under high solar penetration
    Funding award: $2.8 million over three years
    Partners: NREL, Electrocon International Inc., McCoy Energy, and IIT
  • WindView: An Open Platform for Wind Energy Forecast Visualization
    Provide solutions to maintain situational awareness in the control room as more wind generation is integrated in power systems
    Funding award: $1.8 million over three years
    Partners: NREL, FERC, and EPRI
  • Measurement-Based Hierarchical Framework for Time Varying Stochastic Load Modeling
    Leverage practical AMI, SCADA, PMA and laboratory experimental data to develop static, dynamic as well as customer behavior-driven and demand response-enabled load/DG models at component, customer, feeder and substation levels
    Funding award: $2.7 million over three years
    Partners: Siemens, Eaton, ComEd, Alliant Energy, Midamerican Energy, ERCOT, PJM, Cedar Falls Utilities, City of Ames, Iowa Energy Center, and ISU
  • Protection and Dynamic Modeling, Simulation, Analysis and Visualization of Cascading Failures
    Develop and validate a dynamics and protection simulation platform to enable utility planning, operations, and protection engineers to better understand and mitigate cascading blackouts involving protection
    Funding award: $2.48 million over three years
    Partners: Electrocon International Inc., McCoy Energy, Altalink, ComEd, SPP, ISU, and IIT
  • Improved Forecasts of Electric Outages From Tropical Cyclones
    Improve forecasts of electric outages for tropical cyclone events affecting U.S. territory in the Caribbean, Atlantic seaboard and Gulf of Mexico regions
    Funding award: $800,000 over two years
    Partners: Meade Electric, Georgia Power/Southern Company
  • A Closed-Loop Distribution System Restoration Tool for Natural Disaster Recovery
    Develop a distribution restoration decision support tool that will help utilities restore distribution after extreme weather events in an optimal and efficient manner
    Funding award: $1.95 million over three years
    Partners: BNL and ISU
  • Cybersecurity for Renewables, Distributed Energy Resources, and Smart Inverters
    Develop a holistic attack-resilient architecture and layered cyber-physical solution portfolio to protect critical power grid infrastructure
    Funding award: $1.8 million over three years
    Partners: EPRI and WSU

In addition to the projects it will lead, Argonne will be a participant in many other multi-laboratory GMLC research efforts. Included in these are projects related to how electric vehicles interact with the grid that will total more than $1.5 million in funding.

These projects relate to vehicle-grid interoperability and interconnection, as well as standards and test procedures for grid services. Other projects are funded by DOE’s Vehicle Technologies Office and include technology development for connecting vehicles to buildings, as well as system-level vehicle-grid integration, analysis and cyber security.

Find more information on the Grid Modernization Initiative and the selected National Lab partnership projects at www.

Argonne National Laboratory seeks solutions to pressing national problems in science and technology. The nation’s first national laboratory, Argonne conducts leading-edge basic and applied scientific research in virtually every scientific discipline. Argonne researchers work closely with researchers from hundreds of companies, universities, and federal, state and municipal agencies to help them solve their specific problems, advance America’s scientific leadership and prepare the nation for a better future. With employees from more than 60 nations, Argonne is managed by UChicago Argonne, LLC for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science.

The U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, visit the Office of Science website.