Modernizing America’s Electric Grid Is Part of Future Sustainability Developments

Modernizing America’s Electric Grid Is Part of Future Sustainability Developments

With up to $220 million in new funding, a new consortium is pursuing research and development efforts to help implement a modernized and more sustainable utility infrastructure.

Part of every sustainability project is an infrastructure that provides optimized use of utilities. Whether this concerns electricity, thermal energy, water, or more, a variety of technologies need to be linked and share resources effectively in order to maximize their respective applications and minimize wastefulness.

Team Gemini follows such an approach to structuring energy and resource procurement within its projects—where applicable (and in most cases), a microgrid system will be designed and deployed to make industries and communities energy-independent. Control and monitoring systems (such as from ABB) are used to keep close watch on every component and maximize performance and uptime. Energy efficiencies will be thoroughly designed and implemented, and include generation of electricity, thermal energy, water treatment and recycling, and more. This is achieved through components like Combined Heat and Power Units, Membrane Bioreactors, Anaerobic Digesters, and more.

New public-private research efforts to further such developments is indication that this methodology is here to stay, and will only grow.

The Grid Modernization Laboratory Consortium (GMLC) involves 14 DOE National Laboratories and dozens of industry, academia, and state and local government agency partners across the country. The new research funding announced today is being awarded in response to a challenge by DOE to the National Laboratories to establish, through the GMLC, a comprehensive grid-related research and development effort to address a range of emerging challenges and opportunities in the nation’s power grid.

A full list of projects, participating laboratories and partners, and more information on the Grid Modernization Initiative are available at Some of the outcomes of these projects will include:

  • A national network of laboratory facilities for use in testing and validation of emerging grid-related technologies and systems.
  • New common standards and test procedures to ensure that emerging grid technologies can communicate with one another and work together to provide energy services to customers.
  • New decision support tools for integrated planning and operation of distributed energy technologies, such as solar, demand response, and smart consumer appliances.
  • Advances in grid design and planning tools to take into account the increasing number of emerging technologies being deployed on the grid in homes, businesses, and communities.
  • Optimal approaches for integration of wind turbines, solar PV systems, smart buildings, electric and fuel cell vehicles, and hydrogen technologies into a modernized grid.
  • A new testbed for development of advanced distribution management systems that will allow grid operators to more effectively utilize grid assets, increase resilience and reliability, and enable a wider choice of energy services for consumers.

Supporting and developing a closed-loop, 100%-sustainable infrastructure is among Team Gemini’s primary endeavors. Many technologies ultimately contribute to this goal, including protecting and treating valuable water resources, implementing sustainable agriculture, and maintaining proper methods of waste management.

In an effort to make more communities sustainable, Team Gemini works closely with commodity-intensive industries, municipalities, and other stakeholders to implement viable technology configurations that result in economic and other benefits. A closed-loop system allows businesses to minimize their operating costs and maximize their potential revenue streams, depending on which technologies they choose.

To learn more about Team Gemini’s diverse technology solutions, visit Consider subscribing to our RSS feed or follow us on Facebook and Twitter to stay in the loop about key updates.

The original article can be found in the NREL News Archive.