Siemens Corporate Technology (CT) US, Siemens’ central research and development unit in the US, announced it was selected for a $6.4 million research award from the US Department of Energy Solar Energy Technologies Office (SETO) to advance solar energy’s role in strengthening the resilience of the US electricity grid. This project will create an innovative Energy Management System that can coordinate distributed microgrids to work together. The system will utilize diverse technologies to increase grid resilience against natural disasters or cyber-attacks as well as autonomously restore power during a blackout using smart inverters.
CT US was selected as a part of the Energy Department’s effort to invest in new projects that enable grid operators to rapidly detect physical and cyber-based abnormalities in the power system and utilize solar generation to recover quickly from power outages. Siemens is one of several projectsthat will develop grid management technologies that show how solar energy will enhance power system resilience, especially at critical infrastructure sites. Collaborative efforts between Siemens and the DOE are expected to begin by Summer 2019.
The Siemens CT team will be led by Ulrich Muenz and Sindhu Suresh and work with partners from DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Columbia University, Siemens Digital Grid and Holy Cross Energy to develop, validate, and demonstrate a highly innovative, three-layer Energy Management System (EMS) for Autonomous and Resilient Operation of Energy systems with RenewaAbles (AURORA).
This project continues CT’s collaborative work with the DOE’s US National Laboratories to strengthen, enhance, and modernize the nation’s electric grid and critical infrastructure. In January 2019, CT signed an MOUwith National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), to conduct integrated experiments within their respective research and development facilities to help integrate innovative power electronic devices with the electric grid, including smart inverters for solar panels, batteries, and electrical vehicles that are capable of supporting the nation’s power system.