Sandia's Grid Modernization Program Newsletter | May 2017

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Sandia's Grid Modernization Program Newsletter  |  May 2017

Covering topics that include energy storage, renewable energy integration, transmission planning and operations, defense energy, cybersecurity and more, Sandia’s quarterly Grid Modernization Program Newsletter features research highlights, upcoming events, technical achievements, and new publications and patents. News stories are also available on Sandia’s Grid Modernization website. We hope you enjoy!

In this Issue:

Research Updates & Accomplishments


GMLC Project Delivers Cost-effective Resiliency Recommendations for New Orleans

Sandia and Los Alamos National Laboratory have delivered technical assistance to the City of New Orleans in partnership with Entergy Corporation, 100 Resilient Cities, and the Sewerage and Water Board of New Orleans to develop a set of risk-informed, cost-effective recommendations that will improve community resilience to events such as hurricanes, tornados, and floods. Many of the recommendations provided suggest areas of the city where microgrids can support clustered critical buildings when disruptions cause the larger electric grid to lose power. Buildings considered for service include hospitals, dialysis centers, emergency response facilities, grocery stores, pharmacies, gas stations, and several others that are vital to the recovery and survival of New Orleanians. The recommendations were developed by modeling and analysis of how real and hypothetical hurricanes impact the city’s ability to serve its population with infrastructure services. Then, the team identified the most cost-effective locations where grid improvements would enable services to remain available during future disruptions. This project is one of ten under the Security and Resilience Technical Area, led by Sandia, of the Grid Modernization Laboratory Consortium funded by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Grid Modernization Initiative.

Defense Report

Sandia Contributes to Dept. of Defense Report on Energy Systems for Forward/Remote Operating Bases

The DoD Defense Science Board (DSB) has published the “Task Force on Energy Systems for Forward/Remote Operating Bases”, stating that energy usage on the battlefield is likely to increase over the next few decades. The report provides recommendations on how to improve energy delivery and management and identifies technologies that have potential to provide reliable, abundant, and continuous energy. During the report preparation, Sandia provided a briefing to the DSB on the lab’s ongoing R&D efforts and defense energy projects and recommendations based on experience. Learn more about Sandia’s Defense Energy capabilities.


Sandia Receives Enabling Extreme Real-Time Grid Integration of Solar Energy (ENERGISE) Project Award

Sandia National Laboratories has been awarded a three-year, $2.5 million project to help utility companies better visualize, manage, and protect power systems as they include increasing numbers of distributed energy resources such as wind and solar. This ENERGISE project is funded by the U.S. Department of Energy SunShot Initiative—a national effort to drive down the cost of solar electricity and support solar adoption. SunShot aims to make solar energy a low cost electricity source for all Americans through research and development efforts in collaboration with public and private partners.

Outreach & Events

ESS Forum

Energy Storage Systems Safety Forum Presentations and Photos Available Online

Over 130 participants from industry, academia, national labs, the Department of Energy, Singapore, South Korea, and Canada, came together February 22-24 in Santa Fe, NM for Meeting the Challenge: 2017 ESS Safety Forum. Participants discussed the current state of energy storage system safety and mitigation strategies for improving cell to system level safety and reliability. A summary report will be generated with these findings. Photos of the event can be viewed here, and presentations approved for public release are available for download.

Microgrid Coursebook

Sandia Delivers Energy Assurance and Advanced Microgrid Conceptual Design Course at the Pentagon

As a follow on to the Microgrids Webinar presented in October, Sandia led a 2-day microgrids design workshop March 13-14 at the Pentagon in Washington DC. The workshop was held in partnership with the US Army Corps of Engineers and the Tactical Microgrids Standards Consortium. Forty people attended the training course, and each student received their own 250-page bound course book with background information, discussion papers, and course slides as well as a 50-page work book with example problems and worksheets. The course provided basic training on energy assurance and advanced microgrid design that included both technical presentation, class discussions, and working example microgrid analysis and design problems using representative infrastructure and load data. A second microgrid training course will be taught May 9-10 in Washington DC, with 50 people attending. An additional 40 people are on the waiting list for a third training course offering later this summer.


Call for Papers is Extended for EESAT 2017

The 10th Biennial Electrical Energy Storage Applications and Technologies (EESAT) Conference will be held October 11-13, 2017 at the Westin Hotel—Gaslamp District, in San Diego, CA. The 2017 EESAT Conference will provide a platform to revisit research and development, technologies, applications, and projects that have helped to shape the science and industry of energy storage and to make presentations about new directions for energy storage and how it can address challenges of the smarter, more modern electricity grid. Submit the abstract submission form to by May 30.

Microgrid Summit

Registration is Open for the 2nd Secure & Resilient Microgrid Design Summit

The 2nd Sandia & EPRI Secure & Resilient Microgrid Design Summit will be co-located with APRISE 2017 and the Defense Energy Technology Challenge July 19-20 at the beautiful Hale Koa Hotel on Fort DeRussy Armed Forces Recreation Center, Waikiki, Honolulu, HI. This summit will bring together stakeholders and practitioners from the Department of Defense, Department of Energy, national laboratories, universities, civilian communities, utilities, regulators, and industry to discuss planning, designing, justifying, and implementing energy secure and resilient microgrid designs. Register online before July 1. 

Webinar Recordings Available

In partnership with the Clean Energy States Alliance, Sandia recently participated in three webinars that are available to view:

  • 3/8/17 Webinar: Developing an Energy Storage Project: A Technical Perspective
  • 3/13/17 Webinar: Comparing the Abilities of Energy Storage, PV, and Other Distributed Energy Resources to Provide Grid Services
  • 4/27/17 Webinar: The Value Proposition for Energy Storage at the Sterling Municipal Light Department

Website Updates and its affiliated pages have recently been updated with a modern design that includes upcoming events, Sandia’s grid modernization history, downloadable resources, key personnel, and contact information, making it easier to stay up-to-date with the latest information.

Upcoming Events

Join Sandia's grid experts at several external engagements in the coming months:

Awards & Recognition


New Jersey Transit Microgrid Project Wins a Technology Transfer Award

Sandia recently won the Federal Laboratory Consortium’s (FLC) 2017 State and Local Economic Development Recognition award for its work on the New Jersey Transit Microgrid project. Sandia’s partnership with NJT focused on the Energy Surety Microgrid developed at Sandia. The labs did a feasibility study under the MOU and, after an initial design was completed, New Jersey was awarded $410 million from the Department of Transportation to develop NJ TRANSITGRID, a first-of-its-kind electric microgrid for transportation that can supply highly reliable power during storms or other times when the centralized power grid is compromised.

Grid Edge

Sterling Municipal Light Department Energy Storage Project wins Grid Edge Award

Sandia contributed to the analysis, request for proposal, and deployment of a grid energy storage system for the  Sterling Municipal Light Department project that has been named as a 2017 Grid Edge Award winner by Greentech Media. This 2 MW, 3.9MWh GSS® grid energy storage system is the largest system of its kind installed in New England and the first utility scale project in the State. Using solar energy, the system can provide up to 12 days of clean backup power to critical facilities during an outage. The team will receive the award at the Grid Edge World Forum in June.

J. Vigil

Julian Vigil receives National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship

Julian Vigil, a student intern in Sandia's Materials, Devices, and Energy Technologies Department, was awarded a 2017 National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship. The award was based on Vigil’s demonstrated potential to contribute to strengthening the vitality of the U.S. science and engineering enterprise. Vigil, who has worked with Sandia since his junior year of high school, researches electrochemical catalysis related to energy conversion and storage. The work is done under the supervision of Sandia researcher Timothy Lambert, with whom Vigil has co-authored seven peer-reviewed publications, including three as first author. Prior acknowledgements include the Barry Goldwater Scholarship Award, The Churchill Scholarship, and a 2016 ACS Division of Inorganic Chemistry Award for Undergraduate Research.   


Jon Ihlefeld receives American Ceramics Society’s Richard M. Fulrath Award

Jon Ihlefeld, a Distinguished Member of the Technical Staff at Sandia, has been selected to receive the 2017 Richard M. Fulrath Award from The American Ceramics Society. Jon was selected by unanimous decision for his contributions to electronic ceramics research and development. This award recognizes individuals under the age of 45 that have demonstrated excellence in research and development in the ceramics sciences. Presented to 2 American researchers and 3 Japanese researchers annually since 1978, this award promotes technical collaboration among the diverse cultures surrounding the Pacific Rim. Dr. Ihlefeld is internationally recognized for his work on dielectric integration, funded, in-part, by the DOE Office of Electricity’s Energy Storage Program managed by Dr. Imre Gyuk; ferroelectrics, funded, in-part, by the Laboratory Directed Research Development Office at Sandia; and fast ion conductors, funded, in-part, by the Office of Nuclear Energy. The award will be presented at the 119th annual meeting of The American Ceramics Society, in Pittsburg PA, October 9th, 2017.

Recent Publications & Patents


Chen, RLY; Fan, N.; Pinar, A.; Watson, JP. Contingency-constrained unit commitment with post-contingency corrective recourse, Annals of Operations Research, Volume 249, Issue 1-2, Pages 381-407, Feb 2017.

Dvorkin, Y; Fernandez-Blanco, R.; Kirschen, D. S.; Pandzic, H.; Watson, JP; Silva-Monroy, C.A.; Ensuring Profitability of Energy Storage, IEEE Transactions On Power Systems, Volume 32, Issue 1, Pages 611-623, Jan 2017.

Xu, B.; Wang, Y.; Dvorkin, Y.; Fernandez-Blanco, R.; Silva-Monroy, C. A.; Watson, JP; Kirschen, D.S.; Scalable Planning for Energy Storage in Energy and Reserve Markets, IEEE Transactions on Power Systems, Volume PP, Issue 99,  March 2017.

Zutavern, F.; Mauch, D.; Delhotal, J.; King, M.; Neely, J.; Kizilyalli,I.; Kaplar, R.; Ultra-Fast Reverse Recovery Time Measurement for Wide-Bandgap Diodes, IEEE Transactions on Power Electronics, Volume PP, Issue 99; March 2017.

Cooney, C.; Byrne, R.; Lyons, W.; O'Rourke, F.; Performance characterisation of a commercial-scale wind turbine operating in an urban environment, using real data, Energy For Sustainable Development, Volume 36, Pages 44-54, Feb 2017.


Patent Application No. 13592, filed 1/4/17: Functionalization of Diels-Alder Polyphenylene Polymers

Patent Application No. 13741, filed 1/4/17: Poly (Phenylene) - Based Anion Exchange Polymers and Methods Thereof

Patent Application No. 13679, filed 2/7/17: Low-Inductance Direct Current Power Bus

Patent Application No. 13288, filed 3/16/17: Cation-enhanced chemical stability of ion-conducting zirconium-based ceramics

Patent Application No. 13864, filed 3/20/17: Systems and Methods for Active Damping Control of Inter-area Oscillations in Large-Scale Interconnected Power Systems

Patent Application No. 13555, filed 3/20/17: Systems and Methods using Collaborative Controls to Maintain Anti-Islanding Standards