Puerto Rico
Press Release

GE to Demonstrate Grid Resilience Technology in Puerto Rico for Rapid Power Restoration Following Extreme Weather Events

Bnamericas Published: Thursday, November 10, 2022
GE to Demonstrate Grid Resilience Technology in Puerto Rico for Rapid Power Restoration Following Extreme Weather Events

GE Research release

NISKAYUNA, NY – November 10, 2022 – With severe weather events like Hurricane Fiona devastating communities and knocking out electricity for weeks before power can be fully restored, GE today announced it has been awarded one of several projects supported by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to develop new grid resilient technologies that allow communities to rapidly restore power following such events. The total funding of GE’s project will be $4.5 million, with $3 million from the DOE and an industry cost-share of approximately $1.5 million.

GE Research, together with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL); LUMA Energy, which operates and manages the electrical grid in Puerto Rico; Sandia National Laboratories; and GE’s Renewable Energy and Digital businesses will develop and demonstrate an automated power restoration system in Puerto Rico that would enable a community to rapidly restore electricity following extreme weather events.

Dr. Bilgehan Donmez, a Senior Engineer in Electric Power Systems at GE Research and project leader, said GE’s solution could serve as a model for communities to quickly restore power in the future following severe weather events, stating, “Following Hurricane Fiona in mid-September, it took several weeks before many communities in Puerto Rico had their power fully restored. We’re aiming to develop and demonstrate an automated power system in Puerto Rico that would cut the restoration time from weeks and even months to just hours or days.”

This project will integrate the expertise of GE’s Digital and Grid Solutions businesses. Building on GE Digital’s Distributed Energy Resource Management System, called Opus One DERMS,, which enables electric utilities to dynamically manage and orchestrate distributed energy resources (DERs), black-start service and the coordination and continuous operation of local resources under extreme weather conditions will be key innovation focus areas. The team also will develop new technologies using GE Grid Solution’s microgrid and GE Digital Grid Software’s DER management solutions as building blocks for real-time control and optimization of DERs and loads, with resiliency of community grids as the primary objective.

Donmez noted that a key focus of the project will be to demonstrate an automated restoration system that could help underserved communities quickly restore power and recover from a severe weather event.

Donmez said, “All too often,  it’s the underserved communities that are the last to see electricity restored to their homes and businesses following a severe event. Our hope is that being able to automate the process for restoring power in these communities faster, we will have a system that could serve all communities. Our demonstration project in Puerto Rico will serve as an instrumental proving ground to develop, test, and validate our system.”

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