Advanced Grid Research and Development activities accelerate discovery and innovation in electric transmission and distribution technologies and create "next generation" devices, software, tools, and techniques to help modernize the electric grid. Projects are planned and implemented in concert with partners from other Federal programs; electric utilities; equipment manufacturers; regional, state, and local agencies; national laboratories; and universities. Coordination is critical to focusing Federal efforts and ensuring that projects are properly aligned with public, private, local, and national needs.
Smart Grid Research and Development supports activities to adapt and integrate the use of advanced digital technology to modernize the nation’s electric delivery network for enhanced operational intelligence and connectivity. The enhanced connectivity will allow different applications, systems, and devices to be interoperable with one another, through a combined use of open system architecture, as an integration platform, and commonly-shared technical standards and protocols for communications and information systems.
Microgrid Research and Development supports activities to improve microgrid functionality and operations, including development and improvement of key microgrid components. Microgrids are localized grids that can disconnect from the traditional grid to operate autonomously and help mitigate grid disturbances to strengthen grid resilience.
Energy Storage supports research in basic materials forming battery, electrolytic capacitor, and flywheel systems which need to be improved to improve energy storage and cycling capabilities and reduce costs. It also supports activities in advanced component development and field testing of storage systems in diverse applications to bring these technologies closer to market. This research will help lower life-cycle costs, improve performance, and reduce siting issues due to reduced size and environmental impact.