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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. 

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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.


Jonathan White | 303-384-7433