The U.S. Department of Energy has unveiled its new Advanced Research on Integrated Energy Systems (ARIES) project, which, it says, “represents a substantial scale-up in experimentation capability from existing research platforms, allowing for research at the 20-megawatt level.”
ARIES will explore the impact of new devices being attached to the electric grid, including renewable energy generation gear, grid-scale storage batteries, hydrogen fuel cells, electric vehicles, and buildings that communicate and interact with the grid.
Just as important, ARIES will try to figure out how to keep this new interconnected world safe from cyber villains.
Based at the department’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory outside Denver, ARIES will run models and simulations on the lab’s eight-petaflop supercomputer to determine ways to optimize the interactions of these components.
The project will help businesses address challenges around scaling new technologies,  interactivity among diverse sources of electricity and millions of smart devices, applying electronic controls to the power grid, and keeping systems cyber secure. 
TRENDPOST: Centralizing research in these areas, with the results freely available to businesses, governing agencies, and other researchers, is essential to meet future power demands, even as the electric grid decentralizes. Although welcome, the effort is late as the previous federal administration largely ignored the demands that the future is placing on the nation’s energy and technology infrastructure.

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