Idaho National Laboratory to research net-zero microgrids

Supported by funding from the U.S. Dept. of Energy, the Idaho National Laboratory will research microgrid technologies that can reduce greenhouse gas emissions and provide enhanced grid resiliency.

The Net-Zero Microgrid program aims to accelerate the removal of carbon-emitting technologies, leveraging the expertise and platforms in INL’s Energy Systems Laboratory and its nuclear energy research testbeds. This includes the Microreactor Applications Research Validation and EvaLuation (MARVEL) research microreactor, funded under the Department of Energy’s Office of Nuclear Energy.

“Nuclear, renewables, and energy storage can potentially have a large advantage over typical diesel or natural gas microgrids,” INL senior microgrid researcher Kurt Myers said. “Decreasing or removing the fuel supply chains can reduce potential impacts and costs for remote applications and improve availability in cases where pipelines or supply systems could be disrupted by weather, disasters or cyberattacks.”

The program sets out to reduce the share of new microgrids supported by fossil fuel generation to 50% in the next few years, down from 80% in 2020.