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Energy and Environment,

Electricity Infrastructure

Carl Imhoff

(509) 375-4328

With demand for electricity expected to grow nearly 30 percent by 2040, our nation's electric infrastructure needs substantial upgrades. Technological advancements that use information technology for greater sensing, communications, and control throughout the power system promise to make the current power infrastructure more effective and offer opportunities to improve overall performance through new, smart transmission, distribution, and generation assets.

PNNL is delivering the science, technology, and leadership to transform our nation's aging power grid into one that is clean, efficient, reliable, and resilient. Focused on the vital needs of the energy infrastructure, we are taking a system-wide approach to grid modernization to help realize the "smart grid" of tomorrow—where energy technology meets information technology through a network architecture as big as the Internet but faster, with unprecedented updates at all levels: generation, transmission, distribution, and end use.

Grid Modernization Laboratory Consortium

The challenge to transform the U.S. power grid to meet the demands of the 21st century is daunting and urgent. To meet this challenge, the U.S. Department of Energy harnessed the scientific and technical power of its national laboratory system with the formation of the Grid Modernization Laboratory Consortium (GMLC).

This strategic partnership between DOE and 13 of its national laboratories involves coordinating unique capabilities across collaborating institutions. As a part of this effort, PNNL researchers are helping develop the framework for U.S. industry and regulators to achieve a national power grid that seamlessly delivers clean and reliable electricity to people wherever they are, whenever they need it.

See a complete list of the GMLC projects that our researchers are working on.

  • PNNL Developing Next-Generation Cyber Tools for the Power Grid

    PNNL Developing Next-Generation Cyber Tools for the Power Grid

    PNNL was recently selected by the Energy Department to lead six projects in support of early-stage cybersecurity research and development that will enhance critical U.S. energy infrastructure.

  • PNNL’s Clean Energy and Transactive Campus project

    VOLTTRON™ User Community Expands Overseas

    Researchers from the Korea Institute of Energy Research are collaborating with PNNL and using VOLTTRON™ to expand their energy management testbed in South Korea. The institute wants to create a community level energy management system using transactive control, similar to what PNNL is doing with the Clean Energy and Transactive Campus project.

  • Balancing Act: PNNL Study Featured in Bulk Power Systems Book

    Balancing Act: PNNL Study Featured in Bulk Power Systems Book

    A recent study by PNNL researchers is part of a new book about integrating renewable energy in bulk power systems. The study, "Balancing Authority Cooperation Concepts to Reduce Variable Generation Integration Costs in the Western Interconnection: Consolidating Balancing Authorities and Sharing Balancing Reserves," was published as Chapter 6 in the book Integration of Large-Scale Renewable Energy into Bulk Storage Systems.

  • PNNL Co-Hosts International Energy Workshop with the University of Maryland

    PNNL Co-Hosts International Energy Workshop with the University of Maryland

    PNNL and the University of Maryland co-hosted the International Energy Workshop, where engineers, economists and earth system scientists discussed a broad range of topics within energy systems modeling. PNNL's Michael Kintner-Meyer, Ghassem Asrar, and Jae Edmonds chaired the July 2017 event alongside Leon Clark of the Joint Global Change Institute and Nathan Hultman of the University of Maryland.

  • Jeff Dagle

    PNNL's Dagle Contributes Grid Expertise to National Academies Report

    Jeff Dagle, Chief Engineer at PNNL, served on a committee that developed a National Academies' report on resilience of the U.S. power transmission and distribution system. Dagle and two other committee members, Dr. M. Granger Morgan of Carnegie Mellon University and Bill Sanders of the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, presented the report to Congress and the Department of Energy.

Energy and Environment

Core Research Areas