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DOE spending $33 million to protect electrical grid

Analysis: The Energy Department announced a roughly $33 million investment in seven projects aimed at securing the electric grid against cyber attacks, physical attacks and weather disasters. The projects are designed both to make grid systems more secure against cyber attacks and to improve their ability to withstand a cyber attack.

Areas of Interest: United States

Impact: Funding for the projects comes from the Energy Department’s Grid Modernization Initiative and is distributed to various national labs and their private sector partners. There are several different projects, some listed below. All of these are geared towards improving security and the ability to stand an attack, but this by no means is a solution that protects the grid completely. Obviously the grid is one of the most important infrastructure items that we have. Without power, where would we be? Something else that is of interest with this story is thee fact that they will be using AI (Artificial Intelligence) with the national grid system. This is a great step forward, let’s just hop it is not too late.

  • Grid Resilience and Intelligence Platform (GRIP) – The objective of this project is to anticipate, absorb, and recover from grid events by demonstrating predictive analytics capabilities, combining state-of-the-art artificial intelligence and machine learning techniques. $6 million over three years.
  • Resilient Alaskan Distribution System Improvements using Automation, Network Analysis, Control, and Energy Storage (RADIANCE) – The objective of this project is to enhance the resilience methods for distribution grids under harsh weather, cyber-threats, and dynamic grid conditions using multiple networked microgrids, energy storage, and early-stage grid technologies. $6.2 million over three years.
  • Integration of Responsive Residential Loads into Distribution Management Systems – The objective of this project is to research and validate open-source home energy management systems (HEMS) to support distribution resiliency use cases and end-to-end interoperability. $6 million over three years.
  • CleanStart-DERMS – Blackstart and restoration strategy for distribution feeders. $6 million over three years. I can do a write up on Blackstart facilities and what they are if anyone here shows interest.

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