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Solar Systems Resilient to Weather-related or Cyber Threats


d.      Solar Systems Resilient to Weather-related or Cyber Threats

In this subtopic, SETO seeks innovative proposals to improve the ability of solar assets or electronic devices associated with solar energy generation (such as inverters, direct current (DC)-DC optimizers, and smart meters) and systems to quickly recover in response to weather-related or cyber threats [1].


One of SETO’s priorities is to enhance the ability of solar energy technologies to contribute to grid reliability and resilience, including the security and resilience of the nation’s critical infrastructure. Infrastructure systems, including the electrical grid and solar generation assets, are vulnerable to weather-related threats, cyberattacks, and other disruptive events. Increased asset resilience presents opportunities to maximize operability and energy availability and minimize restoration costs following these occurrences.


Applications to this subtopic may address specific component or system designs that improve survival; improve recovery time; ensure access control, confidentiality, integrity, availability, or non-repudiation of assets; and minimize cost associated with disruptive events. Component or system designs may achieve these goals passively (e.g., via more robust designs or configurations) or actively (e.g., via “hardened” components, including any component that is connected in a smart power systems injection/absorption role).


Applications must include a basic cost-model analysis showing the cost/benefit of the proposed solution in comparison to current state of the art. Proposed solutions should discuss the component(s) being addressed, potential threats that will be deterred, method of integration (especially clarifying if it is part of a traditional PV component for integration at install or a retrofit for a fielded device), how interoperability with other components is considered, and how compromises or attempted compromises are conveyed to the relevant parties. Applications should also identify a possible case use by defining the time to recover the system’s full functionalities, and provide substantiated estimates for the capabilities of the proposed approach.


Examples of targets and metrics for hardened solar system performance include, but are not limited to:

·         Percent of system operable after a disruptive event (applications should specify type and intensity of the threat);

·         Time to full system operability after extreme event (restoration time);

·         Reduction in system restoration cost following disruptive event;

·         Level of functionality without grid support following extreme event (islanding).


Applications will be considered nonresponsive and declined without external merit review if they do not demonstrate clear innovation compared to the current state of the art, particularly regarding microgrid and/or islanding behaviors.


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