Microgrid Control/Coordination Co-Design (MicroC3)

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OPEN 2021
Raleigh, North Carolina
Project Term:
09/30/2022 - 09/29/2025

Critical Need:

Microgrids deliver highly resilient power supply to local loads in the event of a power outage while also improving distribution system reliability by reducing the system’s load under stress conditions. Microgrids also integrate and manage renewable generation on the distribution system. Today’s microgrids are one-off configurations of commercially available equipment and custom software that implements microgrid control functions and integrates the components. They are rarely optimized for the specific microgrid architecture, equipment, physical or economic environment, and are often proprietary, closed systems, leading to vendor-lock-in and unmodifiable implementations.

Project Innovation + Advantages:

North Carolina State University (NC State) will radically change how future microgrids are designed by developing a suite of microgrid control/coordination co-design tools capable of performing systematic design of an optimized microgrid, given a set of design objectives and performance constraints. The team will develop a well-documented co-design engineering process supported by a tool suite that yields optimal equipment selection, guarantees system stability, evaluates system dynamics, and delivers an integrated coordination/control and communication software/hardware architecture with a concrete implementation validated in high-fidelity simulations. The team will also deliver an open-source microgrid control integration platform: a hardware device with sensing, actuation capabilities and networked, embedded software that can realize the outputs of the design flow in a concrete, physical form. Such automated implementation of control and communication architecture into the operational environment is expected to significantly reduce the cost of microgrid deployment.

Potential Impact:

NC State’s process of addressing the control, communication and coordination aspects of the design early in the design phase enabled by a tool suite-supported design flow makes microgrid engineering more affordable and allows more optimal, functional, and resilient designs. The team’s design and operational approach will enable microgrids to:


Provide power to critical loads during and after extreme weather events, when the rest of the grid may be damaged.


Integrate and effectively manage renewable generation on the distribution system.


Predict and achieve or exceed the desired microgrid performance and reliability metrics with significantly smaller and/or simpler and less expensive components.


ARPA-E Program Director:
Dr. Mario Garcia-Sanz
Project Contact:
Prof. Srdjan Lukic
Press and General Inquiries Email:
Project Contact Email:

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