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DOE Invests in Resilience and Security of Nation’s Critical Energy Infrastructure

September 2017

A reliable and resilient electric grid is critical not only to our national and economic security, but also to the everyday lives of individuals across the country. With the changing supply and distribution mix of today’s energy sources—and disruptions caused by accidents, natural occurring threats, or deliberate cyber and physical attacks—our nation’s electricity grid must evolve. 

As part of the Grid Modernization Initiative (GMI), the U.S. Department of Energy recently announced funding of up to $50 million over three years to the Grid Modernization Laboratory Consortium (GMLC), including the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), nine other national labs, and several industry partners, to advance resilient electricity distribution systems.

NREL will support projects that increase distribution resiliency with flexible distributed energy resources (DER) and microgrid assets, as well as laboratory valuation analysis. As project lead on one the 20 cybersecurity efforts, NREL will also develop a low-cost distributed cryptography technique to help protect energy infrastructure information on operational technology networks.

The awards were made through the Resilient Distribution Systems Lab Call, which seeks to develop and validate innovative approaches to enhance the resilience of distribution systems, including microgrids, with high penetration of clean DER and emerging grid technologies at regional scale. The 20 announced cybersecurity projects will enhance the reliability and resilience of the Nation’s electric grid and oil and natural gas infrastructure through innovative, scalable, and cost-effective research and development of cybersecurity solutions. 

Learn more by reading the DOE press release.