Power and Communication Systems Emulation
NREL researchers evaluate the responses of interdependent and interconnected energy components in a multilayer emulated grid environment to better understand how to improve the security, resilience, and blackstart recovery of today’s critical energy infrastructure.
This capability allows researchers to safely launch attacks in a virtual world on both emulated and actual physical devices and evaluate how they would respond to an attack in the real world.
Analysts perform these threat and consequence attack scenarios in the emulated environment at the Energy Systems Integration Facility, linking the multi-lab developed Hierarchical Engine for Large-scale Infrastructure Co-Simulation (HELICS) and Sandia National Laboratories’ SCEPTRE platforms. With the ability to remotely connect the Energy Systems Integration Facility to NREL’s 305-acre National Wind Technology Center — which offers utility-scale solar, wind, and storage research capabilities—researchers are performing distributed- and transmission-level cybersecurity evaluations across one largescale, integrated testbed.