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Idaho National Laboratory to Enhance Power Grid Testing Capabilities

News release from Idaho National Laboratory, November 1, 2016.

IDAHO FALLS — Essential services like power distribution require reliable service and continuous operations. The power grid on the U.S. Department of Energy’s Idaho Site is being transitioned to a more adaptive architecture to enable greater flexibility in testing new ideas and technologies.

DOE’s Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability (OE) has enabled the lab to make this important investment to better support the need of utilities interested in the secure adoption of new smart grid technologies. INL works with industry, universities and government stakeholders to provide a testing environment that reduces the risks and facilitates real world validation and verification of new and innovative concepts, technologies and systems including smart grid devices, distribution automation, communication tools, renewable energy and grid-scale energy storage.

Within INL’s 61 miles of transmission system, seven substations and associated distribution systems, a dedicated section of distribution lines provides a realistic testing environment for ideas, devices and systems related to the adoption of a smart grid that uses predominantly digital technology. This supports more reliable, resilient and flexible energy delivery while increasing security and efficiency of the system. The dedicated test system provides additional lines and a mesh framework to ensure the environment is more consistent with current industry distribution practices.

INL is one of the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) national laboratories. The laboratory performs work in each of DOE’s strategic goal areas: energy, national security, science and environment. INL is the nation’s leading center for nuclear energy research and development. Day-to-day management and operation of the laboratory is the responsibility of Battelle Energy Alliance.

More information about DOE’s mission to ensure a resilient, reliable, and flexible electricity system is available at

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