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ARPA-E Announces Funding Opportunity to Support Upcoming Grid Optimization Competition

July 24, 2018  

ARPA-E Announces Funding Opportunity to Support Upcoming Grid Optimization Competition

ARPA-E today issued a funding opportunity announcement (FOA) of up to $5 million for research and development of algorithms to modernize the electric grid. If successful, awardees will participate in Challenge 1 of ARPA-E’s Grid Optimization (GO) Competition, set to launch in fall 2018.

These grants will support research and development of solution methods applicable to optimizing the electric power sector’s security-constrained optimal power flow (SCOPF) problem. They are also meant to enable broader diversity in team domain expertise, i.e., to encourage teams to participate that do not traditionally focus on the targeted problems but otherwise have innovative approaches for this class of mathematical programs.

Existing grid software was designed for a power grid centered on conventional generation and transmission technologies. Recent years have seen major developments in distributed energy resources (DER), intermittent resources (wind and solar), and storage. These emerging technologies have unique characteristics that could increase the security and efficiency of the nation’s power grid, and ARPA-E is seeking innovative software ideas to maximize their utility for a modern grid.

GO Competition challenges will lead to the development of software optimizing utilization of conventional and emerging grid technologies, management of dynamic operations of the grid (including extreme event response and restoration), and management of millions of emerging distributed energy resources.

The GO Competition is a series of prize challenges intended to accelerate the development and comprehensive evaluation of grid software solutions. GO Competition participants are not required to pursue this funding opportunity to participate in Challenge 1 of the competition.

GO Competition Challenge 1 will begin in fall 2018. You can learn more about the competition here. Full applications are due by 9:30 AM ET on Friday, September 7, 2018. Additional information is available on ARPA-E’s online application portal, ARPA-E eXCHANGE.