To address increased power outages throughout the country, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has enlisted Camus Energy for a special project to demonstrate affordable, automated and self-contained power restoration solutions via distributed energy resources. Funded by the Department of Energy (DOE) under the RACER Program, the Solar-Assisted, Stakeholder-Engaged Autonomous Restoration with Data Orchestration (Solar-HERO) project will identify and isolate power disruptions to help restore electricity in vulnerable communities during outage events.
The Camus platform serves a critical role for grid operators, providing the data fabric and device control capabilities needed to integrate local energy resources into automated restoration. This includes real-time insights from grid edge monitoring devices, connectivity to the utility's Advanced Distribution Management System (ADMS), and direct control of distributed solar and battery storage systems. Camus utility partner Holy Cross Energy will also participate, engaging its members and community for insights.
“The importance of this project can’t be overstated, especially as severe weather and power outages increase. This work helps to realize the promise of resilience sourced from local energy resources,” said Astrid Atkinson, Camus CEO.
“Outages are more than an inconvenience – they threaten public safety, often in vulnerable communities. Though the challenges are increasing, there is a solution to help mitigate and recover quickly from blackouts: solar plus storage coupled with grid orchestration technology. Camus offers that grid orchestration component, and we look forward to playing a crucial role in this important research,” said Astrid.
NREL researchers on the project will use various methods to detect power outages for precise grid awareness in real time. The findings will inform the future of grid resiliency across the country through the use of renewable energy resources, battery storage, and emerging technologies. Other participants in the NREL-led project include Copper Labs, Survalent, Iowa State University, United Power, and Connexus Energy.
The project kicks off in May 2023.
Read more about the project from NREL.