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Innovative DEsigns for high-performAnce Low-cost HVDC Converters (IDEAL HVDC)

Open Date:


Close Date:


Upcoming Milestones:

Eligible Recipients:

  • Educational Institutions
  • Local Governments
  • Native/Tribal Entities
  • Non-profits
  • Private Sector
  • State Governments

Program Purpose:

  • Energy Infrastructure

Reserved for Energy



Wind Energy Technologies Office (WETO)

Funded by:

U.S. Department of Energy


The research and development (R&D) activities to be funded under this funding opportunity announcement (FOA) will support the government-wide approach to the climate crisis by driving the innovation that can lead to the deployment of clean energy technologies, which are critical for climate protection. Specifically, this FOA will invest in R&D to support continued innovation and cost reduction for high-voltage direct current (HVDC) voltage-source converter (VSC) transmission systems. This investment is intended to enable future grid upgrades required to integrate increasing renewable energy generation on to the grid, both onshore and offshore.

This funding opportunity will focus on cost-reduction innovations for VSC systems. Below are potential areas for innovation under this FOA.

  • Power Capacity: While current power capacities of converter substations are sufficient for today’s needs, increases in power capacity could lead to a more efficient grid in the United States. Higher capacities could allow for increased generation connections to a single substation, thus limiting the number of substations and cost requirements to transmit the same amount of power.
  • Voltage Limit: The higher the converter voltage, the longer the distance that can be reached by the HVDC transmission line. To improve the voltage limit of VCSs, devices could be investigated to reach higher voltages.
  • Size & Power Density: Offshore substations are currently larger than football fields, making their construction and installation costly. Decreasing the size of converter substations or increasing the power density of converter substations could reduce overall system costs.
  • Lifespan & Reliability: A typical HVDC converter has a lifespan of about 25 years. Exploring design innovations that could extend the life of power electronic components within the converter beyond 25 years could reduce overall lifetime cost of the system.

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

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