This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.

February 12, 2014

Energy Department Offers Funding to Improve the Electric Grid

The Energy Department on February 7 announced that it is offering up to $7 million in funding to advance the design of technologies that will help communities become more adaptive and prepared for power outages caused by severe weather and other events. Microgrids are localized grids that are normally connected to the more traditional electric grid but can disconnect to operate autonomously, manage and control the flow of electricity and help mitigate grid disturbances. Microgrids also have the ability to cost-effectively integrate storage and distributed generation such as renewable energy, while also supporting demand management programs.

The Microgrid Research, Development, and System Design funding opportunity targets teams of communities, technology developers and providers, and utilities to develop advanced microgrid controllers and system designs that will help communities take an innovative and comprehensive approach to microgrid design and implementation. Each applicant will be required to work with an entity or community to design microgrid systems of up to 10 megawatts, which is enough to power a small community. Additionally, applicants will be encouraged to design systems that protect critical infrastructure such as hospitals and water treatment plants. See the Energy Department news release.