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Department of Energy Announces $46 Million to Improve Resiliency of Solar Generation

; Date: October 15, 2018

Tags: US Department of Energy »»»» Solar Energy

Today, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced up to $46 million in research funding to advance holistic solutions that provide grid operators the situational awareness and mitigation strategies against cyber and physical threats. With more and more solar generation coming online every day, grid operators need the tools and technologies to ensure that the electric grid is resilient and energy services are delivered to critical infrastructure. These projects will develop and validate control strategies, real-time system monitoring, robust communications and other technologies to make solar power at the bulk power and distribution levels more resilient.

A resilient and reliable electricity grid is essential not only to the security of the infrastructure powering our economy, but also to the everyday lives of all Americans. DOE is committed to improving the affordability of energy technologies and strengthening the nation’s ability to withstand disruptions, including cyber threats and natural disasters. Solar power can play a vital role in this regard. Improving situational awareness in strategic locations associated with critical infrastructure can significantly improve the reliability and continuity of service of solar-generated electricity.

Approximately, 10 projects, varying from $2 to $10 million in size, will be funded over 3 years. Applicants are encouraged to work with critical infrastructure owners and operators, including state, local, tribal, and territories to take proactive steps to manage cyber and physical threats to improve the resiliency of solar generated electricity.

Learn more about opportunity and the upcoming application deadlines (www.energy.gov) HERE.

Funding Opportunity Announcement: Advanced Systems Integration for Solar Technologies (ASSIST)

  • Office: Solar Energy Technologies Office
  • Funding Number: DE-FOA-0001987
  • Funding Amount: $46 million


The Advanced Systems Integration for Solar Technologies (ASSIST): Situational Awareness and Resilient Solutions for Critical Infrastructure funding opportunity will strengthen the integration of solar on the electricity grid, especially at critical infrastructure sites, improve the resilience of the nation’s electricity grid, and streamline technology transfer challenges. The nation’s critical infrastructure is defined as the essential services that are vital to the economy, security, and health of the nation.

Solar generation can play a critical role in ensuring continuity of service at these sites during widespread disruptions from either man-made or natural threats. These projects will help to develop tools that enhance the situational awareness of solar systems on both the distribution and transmission grid and validate technologies that improve the security and resilience of the grid.

Applicants are encouraged to work with state, local, tribal, and territory owners and operators to take proactive steps to manage risk and strengthen the security and resilience of the nation’s critical infrastructure. On receiving an award, recipients will be required to submit interoperability and cybersecurity plans that detail how they will implement and maintain these aspects of their solution.

There are two interrelated areas of interest in this funding opportunity:

  • TOPIC 1.1: R&D and Technology Transfer for Solar Situational Awareness The office seeks to fund unique and innovative solutions that increase grid operators’ situational awareness of solar PV systems deployed throughout the electricity system at strategic locations. These tools are expected to improve resilience of the nation’s critical infrastructure and can help to ensure continuity of service during widespread disruptions from either man-made or natural threats. Projects should also show how a fleet of multiple solar systems in different locations could respond to fast-changing conditions under normal operations and could provide power to critical loads during grid outages.
  • TOPIC 1.2: R&D, Technology Transfer and Validation of Proactive Resilience Solutions The office seeks projects that go beyond the research and development to include a field validation phase. Field tests should demonstrate how these solutions can enhance resiliency of the grid with high penetrations of solar systems. These solutions should identify the strategic location of solar PV systems that will ensure that critical infrastructure will have power during widespread disruptions from either man-made or natural threats. These projects must demonstrate how the technology solutions result in greater resilience of the nation’s critical infrastructure.

Prior to submitting a full application for this opportunity, a mandatory letter of intent is due on November 14, 2018 at 5:00PM ET. A concept paper is not required for this funding opportunity. All application deadlines are in the table below.

Key Dates

Topic Date
FOA Issue Date October 15, 2018
Informational Webinar November 1, 2018 1:00pm ET
Letter of Intent Due Date November 14, 2018 5:00pm ET
Submission Deadline for Full Applications December 7, 2018 5:00pm ET
Expected Submission Deadline for Replies to Reviewer Comments February 1, 2019 5:00pm ET
Expected Date for EERE Selection Notifications March 22, 2019
Expected Timeframe for Award Negotiations 60 days
David Herron
David Herron is a writer and software engineer focusing on the wise use of technology. He is especially interested in clean energy technologies like solar power, wind power, and electric cars. David worked for nearly 30 years in Silicon Valley on software ranging from electronic mail systems, to video streaming, to the Java programming language, and has published several books on Node.js programming and electric vehicles.