The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Solar Energy Technologies Office (SETO) and the Wind Energy Technologies Office (WETO) announced the Solar and Wind Grid Services and Reliability Demonstration funding opportunity, which will award $26 million in funding for projects that demonstrate the reliable operation of a power system that has at up to 100% of its power contribution coming from solar, wind, and battery storage resources.
Grid services, which largely involves maintaining the voltage and frequency stability, are critical to maintain reliability. Because new wind and solar generation are interfaced with the grid through power electronic inverters, they have different characteristics and dynamics than traditional sources of generation that currently supply these services. Demonstrating that a grid fully powered by inverter-based resources is as reliable or more reliable at providing these services is a key barrier to the clean energy transition.
Projects in this funding opportunity will support the development of controls and methods for inverter-based resources like solar and wind to provide the same grid services as traditional generation. These technologies will be validated through long-duration demonstrations at existing large-scale wind and solar generation facilities connected to bulk power system to show their capability of providing grid services at scale. Other projects will develop technologies to ensure system reliability and conduct large-scale studies of transmission protection systems to determine how they respond when sourced primarily by inverter-based resources.
DOE expects to make between 6 and 9 awards under this funding opportunity, each ranging from $2.25 million to $5.6 million. To facilitate the formation of teams, SETO and WETO are providing a Teaming Partner List where interested parties who would like to apply to the funding opportunity announcement (FOA) may express interest to potential partners. Utilities, laboratories, equipment manufacturers, software vendors, engineering firms, and universities (including community colleges) are encouraged to apply.
Prior to submitting a full application for this opportunity, a mandatory concept paper is due on Sept. 1, 2022 at 5 p.m. ET.
SETO and WETO will host an informational webinar on August 17 at 1 p.m. ET to discuss the funding opportunity and the areas of focus. Register for the webinar.