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NREL Issues Request for Information on Advanced Distribution Management System Research

Input From Industry and Others Will Guide Upcoming Use Cases on DOE Distribution Grid Test Bed

July 1, 2021

Picture of NREL researchers working on NREL’s advanced distribution management system test bed.
NREL's Advanced Distribution Management System Test Bed helps utilities meet customer expectations of reliability, power quality, renewable energy use, data security, and energy resilience. Photo by Werner Slocum, NREL

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) is soliciting feedback from industry, utilities, grid operators, governments, and other grid stakeholders around applications of the Department of Energy (DOE) Advanced Distribution Management System (ADMS) Test Bed, a capability for validating advanced grid architectures, controls, and operations.

“This is an important opportunity for stakeholders who could benefit from advanced grid management systems to speak to NREL directly and have a say in the next steps of grid R&D,” said Murali Baggu, a laboratory program manager at NREL.

The request for information (RFI) relates to key challenges for modern distribution grid management, such as sensor data integration, communications architecture, cybersecure data, microgrids, and others. The full list of research and development categories of particular interest to NREL and the Department of Energy is available in the RFI.

With input around necessary improvements to the ADMS Test Bed, NREL can better serve partner needs in a changing energy system. The ADMS Test Bed can benefit investment decisions, identify costs and benefits of new grid technologies, and validate individual components or operational paradigms. By helping to scope ADMS research through this year’s RFI, partners can decide the innovations that will directly affect their operations.

Feedback from the RFI will also help NREL to define new functionalities that are needed for impactful use cases. Following previous RFIs for the ADMS Test Bed, NREL has partnered with stakeholders to study groundbreaking use cases that arise from RFI input. In one outcome from a partner use case, the ADMS Test Bed validated distributed and autonomous controls for a high-renewable community. Other past use cases include data management for advanced metering infrastructure; fault location, identification, and system restoration; and transmission-distribution co-optimization.

The RFI will remain open until August 6, 2021, and any responses should be emailed to

Learn more about the RFI by visiting the webpage