U.S. Secretary of Energy Dan Brouillette recently announced the launch of the Advanced Research on Integrated Energy Systems (ARIES) platform at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL).
The ARIES platform will allow NREL researchers and the scientific community to address the fundamental challenges of integrated energy systems at scale, DOE said.
“As our Nation’s energy system continues to undergo dramatic transformations, there is a growing need for research on how to best integrate all of our energy resources on the grid in order to provide the most reliable and affordable electricity to the American people,” said Brouillette. “ARIES is a flexible platform that provides the opportunity to develop and evaluate new technologies at a size and scale that matters. The Trump Administration is committed to advancing the next generation of energy technologies through platforms like ARIES, which aim to create a better American energy system.”
ARIES represents a substantial scale-up in experimentation capability from existing platforms, allowing for research at the 20-MW level. It will make it possible to understand the impact and get the most value from the millions of new devices — such as electric vehicles, renewable generation, hydrogen, energy storage and grid-interactive efficient buildings — that are being connected to the grid daily.
The scale of the platform will also make it possible to consider opportunities and risks with the growing interdependencies between the power system and other infrastructure like natural gas, transportation, water and telecommunications.
“ARIES will enable DOE and industry to understand the technical, operational, and financial impacts of new technologies in a rapidly evolving energy system,” said Assistant Secretary for the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) Daniel R. Simmons.
ARIES creates a research environment to investigate challenges in the areas of energy storage, power electronics, hybrid energy systems, future energy infrastructure and cybersecurity—five research areas of critical importance.
The platform will leverage existing capabilities at NREL’s Energy Systems Integration Facility (ESIF), new capabilities at NREL’s Flatirons Campus and a virtual emulation environment connecting hardware assets at these sites with millions of digitally emulated devices. A high-speed data link interconnecting ARIES with other national laboratories and research partners will enable access to a greater set of research capabilities.
Over this past year, NREL worked in close collaboration with EERE to develop ARIES. Additional guidance was provided by DOE’s Office of Electricity and the Office of Cybersecurity, Energy Security, and Emergency Response, as well as by other national laboratories, energy industry leaders and academic partners.