New U.S. DOE Report on Accelerating Deployment of Grid Solutions to Lower Costs & Improve Reliability

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DOE Releases New Report on Accelerating Deployment of Grid Solutions to Lower Costs and Improve Reliability

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today announced the release of its latest Pathways to Commercial Liftoff report, focused on unleashing the potential of advanced grid solutions. “Pathways to Commercial Liftoff: Innovative Grid Deployment,” marks the tenth installment in the Liftoff series which launched in March 2023. This report demonstrates how commercially available advanced grid solutions—such as advanced conductors, dynamic line rating, and energy storage—can cost effectively increase the existing grid’s capacity to support upwards of 20–100 GW peak demand growth. These technologies would also improve grid reliability, resilience, and affordability for consumers. Near-term deployment of commercially available but underutilized advanced grid solutions can significantly bolster the resilience of domestic energy systems and support the Biden-Harris Administration’s ambitious goal of a net-zero emissions economy by 2050.

“The majority of the nation’s transmission and distribution lines are drastically overdue for an upgrade, which is why President Biden’s Investing in America agenda is so critical to bring the grid up to date,” said U.S Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm. “DOE’s new Innovative Grid Deployment Liftoff report outlines the existing tools that can be deployed in less than 5 years to modernize the nation’s power sector making it more secure and reliable to deliver cheaper, cleaner power to American consumers.”

Key findings from the report include:

  • Near-term solutions are available: Multiple advanced grid solutions are commercially available today that can help utilities and regulators respond to grid pressures in the near-term—including rapid demand growth, reliability and resilience priorities, and new energy generation connections. These solutions include advanced transmission (e.g., advanced conductors) and grid enhancing technologies (e.g., dynamic line rating, advanced power flow control, energy storage) as well as system automation and situational awareness solutions (e.g., advanced distribution management systems, distributed energy resource management systems). These solutions can serve as a bridge while critically needed new grid infrastructure capacity continues to be built out long-term.
  • The existing grid has untapped value: Deploying these technologies could increase the capacity of the existing grid to support 20–100 GW of incremental peak demand when installed individually, while improving system reliability, resilience, and affordability. This capacity impact is on the order of magnitude of the 91 GW of peak demand growth that North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) projects for the next decade (as of December 2023).
  • Solutions are low cost and quick to deploy: Most of these solutions are less than a quarter of the cost of conventional alternatives and can be relatively quick to deploy since they make use of existing infrastructure.
  • Liftoff within three to five years is possible: Liftoff will happen when utilities and regulators comprehensively value and integrate advanced solutions as part of core grid investment, planning, and operations. Pursuing 6-12 large operational, “no regrets” deployments across a diverse set of utility contexts can derisk adoption at scale and build repeatable operational and investment models. Deployments could be achieved without increasing costs to household ratepayers.

Biden-Harris Administration’s Commitment to Strengthening the Nation’s Transmission and Distribution Grid

President Biden’s Investing in America agenda has announced over $13.1 billion to the nation’s transmission and distribution grid. Thanks to this transformative funding, DOE is investing in the deployment of many advanced technologies identified in the Liftoff report through the Grid Deployment Office’s Grid Resilience and Innovation Partnerships (GRIP) Program, a $10.5 billion grant program that is enhancing grid flexibility and improving the resilience of the power system. On October 23, 2023, DOE announced the first round of GRIP funding that totaled nearly $3.5 billion and is supporting 58 projects in 44 states across the United States. This funding represents the federal government’s largest single direct investment in critical grid infrastructure and catalyzes more than $8 billion total in public and private investments. During the first round of GRIP funding, DOE selected twelve projects that include investment in grid-enhancing technologies (GETs) like dynamic line rating (DLR) or distributed energy resource management (DERMS).

A second GRIP funding opportunity is focused on creating comprehensive solutions that link grid communications systems and operations to increase resilience and reduce power outages and threats and deploying advanced technologies such as distributed energy resources and battery systems to provide essential grid services. These projects will leverage both public and private capital to ultimately de-risk efficient and equitable deployment and catalyze future private investment of advanced grid solutions, accelerating the timeline to achieving integration at speed and scale.

DOE develops its Pathways to Commercial Liftoff reports with extensive stakeholder engagement and system modeling. Additional reports will be added in the coming months. Find out more information about the reports here. DOE continues to encourage public input and stakeholder engagement for its liftoff reports through industry forums and via email to [email protected].

Learn more about funding programs to support advanced grid solutions deployments at DOE’s Grid Deployment Office and Loan Programs Office. Additionally, technical assistance resources are available to support grid stakeholders across a range of topics, including the State Technical Assistance and Grid Resilience Assistance programs.

On May 13th, 2024, DOE will host a webinar featuring senior DOE leaders to explore the Pathways to Commercial Liftoff: Innovative Grid Deployment” report. Please register here.


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