42 U.S. Code § 17384a - Smart grid modeling, visualization, architecture, and controls

(a) In general

Not later than 180 days after December 27, 2020, the Secretary shall establish a program of research, development, demonstration, and commercial application on electric grid modeling, sensing, visualization, architecture development, and advanced operation and controls.

(b) Modeling research and developmentThe Secretary shall support development of models of emerging technologies and systems to facilitate the secure and reliable design, planning, and operation of the electric grid for use by industry stakeholders. In particular, the Secretary shall support development of—
models to analyze and predict the effects of adverse physical and cyber events on the electric grid;
coupled models of electrical, physical, and cyber systems;
models of existing and emerging technologies being deployed on the electric grid due to projected changes in the electric generation mix and loads, for a variety of regional characteristics; and
integrated models of the communications, transmission, distribution, and other interdependent systems for existing, new, and emerging technologies.
(c) Situational awareness research and development
(1) In general

The Secretary shall support development of computational tools and technologies to improve sensing, monitoring, and visualization of the electric grid for real-time situational awareness and decision support tools that enable improved operation of the power system, including utility, non-utility, and customer grid-connected assets, for use by industry partners.

(2) Data use

In developing visualization capabilities under this section, the Secretary shall develop tools for industry stakeholders to use to analyze data collected from advanced measurement and monitoring technologies, including data from phasor measurement units and advanced metering units.

(3) Severe events

The Secretary shall prioritize enhancing cyber and physical situational awareness of the electric grid during adverse manmade and naturally-occurring events.

(d) Operation and controls research and developmentThe Secretary shall conduct research to develop improvements to the operation and controls of the electric grid, in coordination with industry partners. Such activities shall include—
a training facility or facilities to allow grid operators to gain operational experience with advanced grid control concepts and technologies;
development of cost-effective advanced operation and control concepts and technologies, such as adaptive islanding, dynamic line rating systems, power flow controllers, network topology optimization, smart circuit breakers, intelligent load shedding, and fault-tolerant control system architectures;
development of real-time control concepts using artificial intelligence and machine learning for improved electric grid resilience; and
utilization of advanced data analytics including load forecasting, power flow modeling, equipment failure prediction, resource optimization, risk analysis, and decision analysis.
(e) Interoperability research and development

The Secretary shall conduct research and development on tools and technologies that improve the interoperability and compatibility of new and emerging components, technologies, and systems with existing electric grid infrastructure.

(f) Underground transmission and distribution linesIn carrying out the program under subsection (a), the Secretary shall support research and development on underground transmission and distribution lines. This shall include research on—
methods for lowering the costs of underground transmission and distribution lines, including through novel installation techniques and materials considerations;
techniques to improve the lifespan of underground transmission and distribution lines;
wireless sensors to improve safety of underground transmission and distribution lines and to predict, identify, detect, and transmit information about degradation and faults; and
methods for improving the resilience and reliability of underground transmission and distribution lines, including technologies and techniques that can mitigate the impact of flooding, storm surge, and seasonal climate cycles on degradation of and damage to underground transmission and distribution lines.
(g) Grid architecture and scenario development
(1) In general

Subject to paragraph (3), the Secretary shall establish and facilitate a collaborative process to develop model grid architecture and a set of future scenarios for the electric grid to examine the impacts of different combinations of resources (including different quantities of distributed energy resources and large-scale, central generation) on the electric grid.

(2) ArchitectureIn supporting the development of model grid architectures, the Secretary shall—
analyze a variety of grid architecture scenarios that range from minor upgrades to existing transmission grid infrastructure to scenarios that involve the replacement of significant portions of existing transmission grid infrastructure;
analyze the effects of the increasing proliferation of renewable and other zero emissions energy generation sources, increasing use of distributed resources owned by non-utility entities, and the use of digital and automated controls not managed by grid operators;
include a variety of new and emerging distribution grid technologies, including distributed energy resources, electric vehicle charging stations, distribution automation technologies, energy storage, and renewable energy sources;
analyze the effects of local load balancing and other forms of decentralized control;
analyze the effects of changes to grid architectures resulting from modernizing electric grid systems, including communications, controls, markets, consumer choice, emergency response, electrification, and cybersecurity concerns; and
develop integrated grid architectures that incorporate system resilience for cyber, physical, and communications systems.
(3) Market structure

The grid architecture and scenarios developed under paragraph (1) shall, to the extent practicable, account for differences in market structure, including an examination of the potential for stranded costs in each type of market structure.

(h) Computing resources and data coordination research and developmentIn carrying out this section, the Secretary shall—
leverage existing computing resources at the National Laboratories; and
develop voluntary standards for data taxonomies and communication protocols in coordination with public and private sector stakeholders.
(i) Information sharing

None of the activities authorized in this section shall require private entities to share information or data with the Secretary.

(j) Resilience

In this section, the term “resilience” means the ability to withstand and reduce the magnitude or duration of disruptive events, which includes the capability to anticipate, absorb, adapt to, or rapidly recover from such an event, including from deliberate attacks, accidents, and naturally occurring threats or incidents.

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