A power grid development program has received $48 million in funding from the Department of Energy (DOE). The program is designed to modernize grid infrastructure across the country for improved efficiency and better resilience against extreme weather events, such as the winter storm that hit Texas in 2021. 

This new effort by DOE will fund projects that aim to enable utilities to more effectively control grid power flow to avoid disturbances, and quickly isolate and route around disruptions. Grid modernization will support the deployment of renewables, boost energy independence and achieve 100% clean electricity by 2035. The improved grids will also ensure vulnerable areas won't be left without power in the event of extreme weather.

The Unlocking Lasting Transformative Resiliency Advances by Faster Actuation of power Semiconductor Technologies” (ULTRAFAST) program will support the development. Successful project teams will develop device concepts that target: 

  • Semiconductor material, device and/or power module level advances to enable faster switching and/or triggering at higher current and voltage levels
  • Improved electromagnetic interference immunity 
  • Complementary sensing, packaging and thermal management technology