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Distribution Communication and Control Technologies Research, Development, and Demonstration

Open Date:


Close Date:


Upcoming Milestones:

Eligible Recipients:

  • Educational Institutions
  • General Public
  • Investor Owned Electric Utilities
  • Local Governments
  • Municipally Owned Electric Utilities
  • Native/Tribal Entities
  • Non-profits
  • Private Sector
  • Public Utility Entities
  • Rural Electric Cooperatives
  • State Governments

Program Purpose:

  • Energy Infrastructure

Reserved for Energy



Office of Electricity (OE)

Funded by:

U.S. Department of Energy


Distributed energy resources (DERs), such as inverter-based generation, storage, and controllable loads, are proliferating at the grid edge. The operation of this future, bidirectional electricity system will rely on the ability to coordinate these disparate resources at scale, and research is underway to create advanced distribution management systems (ADMS) capable of managing this complexity. These systems will be critical to grid reliability, and they will depend on accurate, timely, and complete data feeds for both situational awareness of grid state and transmission of control and coordination messages to this fleet of devices. Thus, secure communication systems must link the grid edge, the distribution system, and the bulk power system. It is likely that legacy grid communication systems are not adequate to meet the information security requirements (in the dimensions of availability, integrity, and confidentiality) of this new grid landscape, which includes more stringent operational requirements as well as increased risks, and that new technologies, systems, architectures, and/or protocols will be needed.

This funding opportunity announcement (FOA) seeks research, development, and demonstration activities that will yield new communications and control technologies to enhance the security of the electric distribution system, particularly with respect to the grid’s capability to prevent, detect, and respond to inadvertent and/or malicious disruptions to critical information flows. A demonstration of the developed solution under the evolving system architecture—including changes occurring on the grid edge—needs to be performed to validate electric utility acceptance. A successful demonstration will lend confidence that the innovation will perform as expected, will increase information security on the grid, and will not interfere with the function of the energy delivery control system. Research findings leading to valuable insights and best practices regarding the design, configuration, and use will be broadly shared with the utility community creating a pathway to accelerate deployment.

Proposed projects must use a utility-led facility and real-time, archived, or high-fidelity simulated operational grid data to develop and evaluate technical solutions.

Applications must include a technical review board consisting of appropriate subject-matter experts. Up to twenty percent of the board’s membership may be filled by staff from the lead utility. Remaining members must come from other electric or communications utilities, National Laboratories, academic institutions, independent consultants, or other outside sources.


Related Resources

Additional information is available on the Resources page.

Funding Details

Funding Source:
Funding Type:
Grant - match required
Total Amount Available:
Limit per Applicant:
Estimated Awards:

Applicant Guidance

Contact Information

Jennifer Burbage, 412-386-9272, Jennifer.Burbage@netl.doe.gov

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