Future Trends

DOE Funds Distributed Energy Resource Security Projects

National lab efforts

DOE Funds Distributed Energy Resource Security Projects

The Department of Energy Office of Cybersecurity, Energy Security and Emergency Response is investing $39 million in nine national laboratory initiatives to secure distributed energy resources.

DERs are small power generation and storage technologies that can be connected to or be independent of the electric grid. They typically have a capacity of less than 10 megawatts. Examples include solar and wind systems, electric vehicle chargers and fuel cells.

CESER Director Puesh Kumar explained that securing DERs is key to achieving energy resilience. The selected teams from the Energy Department’s national laboratories aim to enhance real-time data analytics for DERs through artificial intelligence and develop solutions to protect such resources’ communication architectures.

A team led by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory secured approximately $4.9 million to create an emulation-based framework for analyzing cyber vulnerabilities. NREL is also expected to support stakeholders operating DERs in disadvantaged communities by crafting mitigation strategies.

Meanwhile, a Sandia National Laboratory-led group received the same amount to develop a reference model for DER communication protocols and produce open-source and commercial tools to minimize the impact on operational technology networks, the Energy Department said Tuesday.

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Tags: Department of Energy distributed energy resources Future Trends National Renewable Energy Laboratory Office of Cybersecurity Energy Security and Emergency Response Puesh Kumar Sandia National Laboratory