Energy and Climate
Energy and ClimateEnergy InfrastructureSmart Grid Tools and Technology

Smart Grid Tools and Technology

Our smart-grid technologies and tools are ready to be employed by communities (cities, towns, counties, and tribal lands) to enhance resilience of electricity delivery infrastructure at the distribution level. The smart-grid technologies and tools (including energy storage) are Technology Readiness Level (TRL) 7 or higher, with support of RD&D from the national laboratory through funded efforts by the Department of Energy’s Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability.


Electric Utility Resiliency Analysis Toolkit (EURAT)

EURATThe EURAT software tool/capability mixes advanced optimization with power-flow analysis to estimate a utility’s resilience to a particular threat such as a hurricane or ice storm. Used in system planning, the capability can quantify system resilience and also the changes to resilience given a set of infrastructure improvements. The tool is best used for comparative analysis.

Use:The intended purpose of EURAT is to quantify changes in system resiliency given alternative proposed investment portfolios, in order to maximize resiliency given a fixed budget to extreme weather events.

Contact: Jean-Paul Watson, Phone: (505) 845-8887


Storage Bid Strategy Tool

Laurel Mountain Energy Storage (AES Storage LLC)

This software tool is intended to be used to determine a bid strategy for energy-storage devices. The amount of capacity that should be allocated to energy resources (for arbitrage) versus the amount of capacity that should be allocated to regulating reserves.

Use: The MATLAB tool takes market data for energy and ancillary services (e.g. regulation up/down, etc.) and the model of the energy storage system (e.g. capacity, min/max power levels, etc.) and calculates the strategy which maximizes the revenue from the system. If cost data is available (e.g. $/MWh), it may also be incorporated in the optimization. The tool has been used to analyze a system in ERCOT and CAISO.

Contact: Raymond Byrne, Phone: (505) 844-8716


Transmission and Generation Investment Strategist (TIGRIS)

TIGRISTIGRIS is an investment planning tool capable of finding the most cost effective portfolio of transmission and generation investments to meet forecasted demand, renewable targets, and emission policies. It provides a single investment recommendation given a range of multiple scenarios of economic and regulatory conditions, as well as climate change and extreme weather scenarios. 

Use: It can be used by regional transmission planning authorities to find indicative investment plans that would be robust and economic against a broad range of scenarios. This is a significantly better approach to hedge against uncertainty than what it is available in current planning tools, which can only provide a recommendation for a single scenario at a time.

Contact: Francisco Munoz, Phone: (505) 284-3787



Stochastic Resource Adequacy with Endogenous Capacity Value Estimation

California renewables output (22-Jun-14)A formulation of the resource adequacy problem using stochastic programming that calculates the correct capacity value of solar endogenously (as penetration increases through time). This formulation of the problem also takes into account the stochastic nature of fuel prices, load growth and capital costs of solar generation to minimize the expected value (or conditional value at risk) of electric utilities’ revenue requirement. This tool could take new energy demand profiles caused by  climate change throughout the planning horizon in order to increase the resilience of generation expansion plans to them. 

Use: A utility desires to be robust to uncertainty from climate change when making plans for future generation. Demand growth and load patterns might change due to climate change. These low-probability high-consequence scenarios can be used as inputs to the stochastic resource adequacy.

ContactCesar Silva Monroy, Phone: (505) 844-7629


Stochastic Operations Toolkit

Automated Stochastic Process Models for Solar and Load


This is a simulation tool that uses deterministic (single-scenario) forecasts of load and solar generation and their corresponding actuals (i.e., observed load and solar production) to produce probabilistic forecasts of those quantities that are then used to perform a production cost model-type simulation using stochastic unit commitment as its engine. This tool also performs the deterministic unit commitment given the deterministic forecasts and actuals in order to compare stochastic and deterministic unit commitment results. This tool could be employed to perform simulations that use extreme weather events in the form of contingencies as inputs to the system and quantify the benefits of stochastic unit commitment over deterministic given those extreme weather events. It may also be employed to appropriately allocate reserves when an imminent extreme weather event is about to take place. 

Use: A utility desires to have predetermined operating plans for snow storms and they have identified the components that are most vulnerable to such extreme events as well as changes in their load patterns. This information is combined to create input scenarios of demand and component outage to the stochastic unit commitment engine. The results shows the most cost effective manner to operate generation plants in such event. 

ContactCesar Silva Monroy, Phone: (505) 844-7629


Storage Planning in Deregulated Markets

2_Freedom-insetThis technique has been used many times by Sandia staff to evaluate the value proposition of energy storage located within a transmission system as compared to its competing alternative of adding additional transmission or other assets. This tool uses stochastic optimization in order to optimize revenues for a given type of storage seeking entrance in a deregulated market. The tool calculates the location and size of an merchant energy storage plant.

Use: An ISO is interested in providing extra compensation for improved resilience from new energy storage plants. This new revenue stream can be input to the model in order to calculate how that changes the size and location of merchant energy storage devices in the system.

ContactCesar Silva Monroy, Phone: (505) 844-7629

Performance Reliability Model (PRM) 

grid_logoThe PRM evaluates the performance of a microgrid design in islanded situations, by simulating component failures over an extended operating horizon (e.g., hundreds of years). Given component failure rates under duress, the PRM allows for quantification of microgrid reliability under extreme weather events. 

Use: The purpose of the PRM is to rigorously assess candidate microgrid designs, focusing on the behavior of a microgrids when operating in islanded modes following extreme weather events. Through such evaluation, microgrids can be developed that ensure reliability delivery of electricity in extreme conditions.

Contact: Jean-Paul Watson, Phone: (505) 845-8887


Water and Energy Simulation Toolset (WEST)

The Water and Energy Simulation Toolset (WEST) is a collection of coupled dynamic models with the capability of simulating the supply and demand of both water and energy in a particular basin as driven by climate. WEST was developed to answer long-term questions about water and energy interactions for the integrated resource planning process.

Use: WEST was developed to answer questions in the states of Idaho and Washington about climate change impacts on water and energy supply and demand. It does so by modeling both groundwater and surface water hydrology, as well as hydropower operations and agricultural behavior. It could be expanded to answer questions about water availability for power plant cooling, water quality issues related to energy management, or the impact of the expanding biofuels/hydrofracking industries on traditional energy water supply.

Contact: Robert Jeffers Phone: (505) 845-8051


uPCM Micro Production Cost Modeling (uPCM)

The micro production cost modeling (uPCM) capability at Sandia National Laboratories has focused on financial interactions between microgrids and larger energy markets. This capability extends classical production cost modeling by assessing and packaging the services that can be provided by distributed resources so that their costs and benefits are monetarily quantifiable using traditional tools.

Use: uPCM can be used to model how multiple distributed energy technologies would bid as an aggregated resource in a traditional energy market, thereby estimating the costs and benefits of doing so. uPCM could be expanded by coupling models of retail services and the long-term behavior of customers in response to these services to test alternative retail market structures.

Contact: Robert Jeffers Phone: (505) 845-8051

MICRO GRID _iPAD_cs4Microgrid/Grid Layout Optimizer

The purpose of the microgrid layout optimizer is to develop optimal candidate microgrid topologies. The resulting topologies identify minimal cost microgrid designs that satisfy target static reliability criterion.

Use: The primary purpose of the Microgrid/Grid Layout Optimizer is to provide an initial design, which can be subsequently analyzed and refined by tools such as the Microgrid Design Toolkit and PRM.

Contact: Jean-Paul Watson, Phone: (505) 845-8887




Optimal Dispatch Tool for Minimizing Fuel Consumption in Microgrids

In small-scale microgrids, particularly those employed to support military operations, minimizing fuel consumption is of critical importance. This tool considers a microgrid with disparate resources such as diesel generators, PV arrays, and energy storage and returns a dispatch schedule that aims to minimize fuel consumption. The formulation achieves this result by tracking the remaining fuel reserves and energy-storage state of charge within the optimization itself.

Use: Potential deployment environments include ac microgrids equipped with diesel generators, variable generation, and/or a battery energy storage system. The purpose of the tool is to minimize the amount of fuel consumed to produce electric power. A byproduct of the dispatch is that curtailment of renewable generation sources is kept at the lowest possible level required to minimize fuel consumption.

Contact: Ryan Elliott Phone: (505) 844-8663


Performance and Validation Testing of Energy Storage, PV, Control Devices

Distributed Energy Technologies Laboratory (DETL)Component and system testing at Sandia’s Distributed Energy Technology Laboratory (DETL) and its associated energy-storage test facility can be used to validate the performance, reliability, and interoperability of various smart-grid components, subsystems, and full systems.

Contact: Sigifredo Gonzalez Phone: (505) 845-8942



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