Powering Strong Communities
Security and Resilience (Cyber and Physical)

DOE’s Office of Electricity Offers Funds for Secure Grid Communications

The U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Electricity on Jan. 18 issued a $4.8 million funding opportunity announcement seeking applications “for innovative distribution system communications technologies to ensure a secure electricity grid.”

Projects selected will receive up to $2.4 million in funding to support the research, development, and demonstration of technologies that ensure distribution system operators can securely communicate electricity data and manage resource deployment at the grid edge.

“The grid edge is where utility service ends and customer equipment starts. Specifically, the grid edge begins at customers’ meter points and includes their own equipment, software, and controls. Examples include rooftop solar systems, electric vehicle charging stations, and energy storage,” DOE said.

The U.S. energy system depends heavily on communications networks, “but the grid’s evolution to include more distributed energy resources such as grid edge equipment imposes greater demand on these networks and greater associated information security risks,” DOE said.

The funding will help U.S. electric utilities jumpstart the RD&D for secure distribution system information systems, it said.

Interested parties may apply for this funding at FedConnect. Applications are due March 18, 2024.

The Office of Electricity is expected to announce the selectees in July 2024 with the awards going out in September 2024.