Our research in this area focuses on modernizing the electric grid with state-of-the-art technologies for the smart grid, distributed generation (microgrids), and improved grid reliability. Our electricity grid research focuses on demand response, distributed energy resources, and research to increase the reliability and efficiency of the U.S. electric power system.
Our Demand Response Research Center (drrc.lbl.gov/) develops, prioritizes, conducts, and disseminates research to facilitate demand response—a set of time-dependent activities that reduce or shift the time of electricity use. The Center’s research focuses on the development of communications and standards, optimizing demand response resources, and grid integration of electric vehicles and renewable energy. Its development and advancement of the open automated demand response (OpenADR) standard introduced a standardized interface that enables rapid communication of price and reliability signals from utilities to customers that is used worldwide.
In the distributed energy resources (DER) area, we work worldwide with partners in business, academia, government, and the military to evaluate DER and microgrid design and performance. This group also identifies and implements best practices for a variety of applications for power generation and storage technologies (such as solar photovoltaics, wind turbines, or fuel cells) located at a user's location. Our free, Berkeley Lab-developed Distributed Energy Resources Customer Adoption Model (DER-CAM) is a tool that can be used to output microgrid investment and dispatch results that minimize costs or emissions. It can be used for microgrid adoption, policy analyses, and microgrid controller design. Find out more at building-microgrid.lbl.gov/.
Our Consortium for Electric Reliability Technology Solutions (CERTS, certs.lbl.gov/) conducts research, develops, and disseminates new methods, tools, and technologies. As the U.S. grid transitions from a uni-directional, central-generation, utility-focused model to a bi-directional model that must incorporate a variety of distributed energy resources, coordinated efforts are necessary to maintain grid reliability. CERTS has addressed reliability issues since 1999, and is leveraging that knowledge and experience to develop technology solutions that support competitive markets while protecting the public interest in reliable electricity service.