Renewable Energy-to-Grid Integration

Renewable energy-to-grid integration is the study of how modern grid technologies can support the smooth transition to adopting energy resources that are more distributed, resilient, secure, and clean.

Group of researchers inside data computer laboratory.

Renewable energy-to-grid integration is about building microgrids with solar, wind, and storage systems in remote areas or for islanding off the main grid when a disruption occurs. It encompasses the development of new standards and codes for the interconnection of more distributed energy systems and helps in designing a future that enhances energy resilience without investments in huge infrastructure upgrades to the current system.

NREL researchers are using the unique capabilities in the Energy Systems Integration Facility (ESIF) to solve complex computational and data analysis problems related to energy-efficiency and renewable energy technologies, to examine the impact of renewable plants on transmission and distribution power systems, and to study the impact of integrating large-scale renewable energy resources into the electric grid.

The ESIF Advantage

Advanced Distribution Management System Test Bed

Consisting of software simulation and hardware elements to recreate a power distribution system, the advanced distribution management system (ADMS) test bed can simulate just about any modern grid scenario to achieve results demonstrating how systems and controls will perform in a realistic environment. NREL's ADMS test bed can help utility companies and vendors meet customer expectations of reliability, power quality, renewable energy use, data security, and resilience to natural disasters and other threats. Learn more about NREL's ADMS test bed.

Microgrid Evaluation Platform 

The ESIF houses NREL's megawatt-scale microgrid evaluation platform, which allows utilities to connect their microgrids and run a variety of simulations. Microgrids can connect and disconnect from the grid and operate in grid-connected or island mode, which can result in improved customer reliability, cost reduction, and resilience to grid disturbances. Learn more about NREL's microgrids.

Residential Battery Experimentation Platform

NREL's residential battery experimentation platform provides stakeholders with a better understanding of how batteries work for any use (backup, self-consumption, arbitrage), from any vendor, and in any climate. It helps connect the dots among consumer battery performance, life-cycle economic value, and customer interests; and with remote access capabilities and an automated function, users can easily control experiments online and off-site with this research platform. The residential battery experimentation platform replicates every aspect of a residential battery system in the ESIF—from utility rate designs to state of charge for consumer battery systems.

Learn more about how NREL is improving the nation's electric grid infrastructure to make it more flexible, reliable, resilient, secure, and sustainable—not only for today but also for the future.


Ben Kroposki

Center Director, Power Systems Engineering