The Energy Department’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) allocated $33 million in funding for 12 innovative projects as part of ARPA-E’s newest program Network Optimized Distributed Energy Systems (NODES). In 2016, the Department of Energy (DOE) selected Group NIRE, DNV GL, and Geli as part of the NODES program to develop an Internet of Energy (IoEn) platform over the next three years for the automated scheduling, aggregation, dispatch, and performance validation of network optimized DERs and controllable loads.
The IoEn platform will simultaneously manage both system-level regulation and distribution-level support functions to facilitate large-scale integration of distributed generation onto the grid. The IoEn will demonstrate a novel and scalable approach for the fast registration and automated dispatch of DERs by combining DNV GL's power system simulation tools and independent third-party validation with Geli's networking, control, and market balancing software. The platform will demonstrate the ability of customer-sited DERs to provide grid frequency regulation and distribution reliability functions with minimal impact to their local behind-the-meter demand management applications. The IoEn will be demonstrated and tested at Group NIRE's utility-connected microgrid test facility in Lubbock, Texas, where it will be integrated with local utility monitoring, control and data acquisition systems. By increasing the number of local devices able to connect and contribute to the IoEn, this project aims to increase renewables penetration above 50% while maintaining required levels of grid performance.
The NODES Program will develop innovative hardware and software solutions to integrate and coordinate generation, transmission, and end-use energy systems at various points on the electric grid. These control systems will enable real-time coordination between distributed generation, such as rooftop and community solar assets and bulk power generation, while proactively shaping electric load. This will alleviate periods of costly peak demand, reduce wasted energy, and increase renewables penetration on the grid.