DOE Announces $10.5 Million for Microgrid Solutions in Underserved and Indigenous Communities

Jo-Carolyn Goode | 5/21/2024, 1:01 p.m.
The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Electricity (OE) has announced the allocation of $10.5 million in funding to …
U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm

*HOUSTON, TEXAS** – The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Electricity (OE) has announced the allocation of $10.5 million in funding to support the research, development, and demonstration (RD&D) of microgrid-related technologies. This initiative aims to bring reliable, clean energy solutions to underserved and Indigenous communities in remote, rural, and island regions across the United States, reinforcing the DOE's commitment to enhancing energy equity and resilience.

Microgrids are localized energy systems that can operate independently or in conjunction with the main grid. They offer a crucial solution to electricity grid threats such as severe weather events and cyber-attacks. By integrating renewable energy and distributed energy resources, microgrids enhance grid resilience and ensure continuous power supply, even in isolated areas.


Advancing Grid Resilience and Equity

Assistant Secretary for Electricity, Gene Rodrigues, emphasized the importance of this initiative: "We look forward to partnering with our selectees to bring reliable and resilient electric power to those who live and work in remote areas. Developing and deploying microgrid-enabling technologies and addressing non-technical barriers are essential elements of our commitment to meeting Americans where they are and working with the local resources available to their communities."

Objectives and Benefits

The DOE's microgrid funding aims to:

- Promote microgrids as a core solution for enhancing grid reliability and resilience.

- Serve as aggregation points for distributed energy resources.

- Reduce microgrid capital costs by 15% by 2031.

- Decrease project development, construction, and commissioning times by 20%.

These objectives align with the broader goals of achieving a carbon pollution-free electricity sector by 2035, as part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s climate agenda.

Selected Projects

The following projects have been selected for funding:

- Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN: Dynamic Modular Microgrids: Real-Time and Packetized Microgrid Implementation.

- Standing Rock Renewable Energy Power Authority, Fort Yates, ND: Design rEmote microgriDs wIth enhanced resilienCe: Analysis, protoTyping, and modularizATION (DEDICATION).

- Guam Power Authority, Mangilao, Guam: Modular Microgrid Control System for Distribution Networks in Rural and Island Communities.

- Alliance for Sustainable Energy LLC (Three Projects), Golden CO: 

  1. Standardized, scalable, and cost-effective AI-enhanced microgrids for remote communities to improve resiliency and support decarbonization.

  2. Modular Multi-terminal Multi-port MVDC Converter for Remote Microgrid Connectivity (M4DC).

  3. Empowering Next-gen Energy Systems & Workforce with Intelligent Observability (EnLightNet).

- Intelligent Energy Systems LLC, Anchorage, AK: Coordinated Development of Standardized Modular Microgrid Control Systems for Remote Alaskan Communities.

- National Technology & Engineering Solutions of Sandia, LLC, Albuquerque, NM: Microgrid Optimization System using Artificial Intelligent Controls (MOSAIC).

These projects exemplify innovative approaches to creating flexible, socially equitable, and secure energy systems.

A Sustainable Future

By investing in microgrid technologies, the DOE aims to create a more resilient and equitable energy infrastructure. These advancements will not only provide reliable power to remote communities but also pave the way for broader adoption of renewable energy sources, contributing to a sustainable future for all Americans.

For more information on these initiatives and the DOE's ongoing efforts to enhance energy resilience, visit the [DOE's Office of Electricity] website.