Department of Energy Announces Latest Challenge in Competition Aimed at Identifying Power Grid Solutions

ARPA-E Unveils Grid Optimization (GO) Competition Challenge 3

WASHINGTON, DC — Today, the Department of Energy (DOE) announced Challenge 3 as part of the Grid Optimization (GO) Competition — managed by the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) — aimed at developing software management solutions to address challenging power grid problems.

The GO Competition echoes the Biden Administration’s commitment to create a more reliable, resilient and secure American electricity grid.

“The heart of the GO Competition is making the U.S. grid more resilient. As the grid accepts new technologies, it will need to maintain the flexibility, reliability, and resiliency we need,” said Dr. Jennifer Gerbi, ARPA-E Deputy Director for Technology. “This third GO Competition challenge will see teams develop the solutions we need to both address today’s challenges and accelerate the development of tomorrow’s grid.”

The GO Competition began with Challenge 1, which tasked participating teams to find solutions to a security constrained optimal power flow (SCOPF) problem. Challenge 2 expanded upon the SCOPF problem posed in Challenge 1, and Challenge 3 extends the problem in Challenge 2 by including time series data for weather, intermittent generation, unit commitment constraints and consumption. Challenge 3 will include new models for emerging technologies such as storage, consumer participation (bid-in demand), distributed energy resources (DERs), and renewables and new temporal constraints and considerations including unit commitment, combined cycle plant configurations, and reserve requirements. Teams participating in GO Challenge 3 could receive a combined $2.58 million in prize money.

With this competition, ARPA-E aims to provide fair and transparent comparisons of industrially-relevant algorithm performance on high-fidelity, open-access, large-scale power system models and a platform for the identification of transformational and disruptive methods for solving power system optimization problems.

Increasing the emphasis on grid resilience demands innovative management of more diverse and decentralized resources, which existing grid software is not equipped to handle. The GO Competition recognizes that innovation is needed to increase grid flexibility, reliability, and resilience while substantially reducing system costs and barriers to fully integrating emerging technologies.

You can access more information on Challenge 3 at the GO Competition website.