Smart and Flexible Microgrid

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OPEN 2015
Knoxville, Tennessee
Project Term:
06/24/2016 - 12/23/2021

Technology Description:

University of Tennessee (UT), along with their partners, will develop a new type of microgrid design, along with its corresponding controller. Like most other microgrids, it will have solar PV-based distributed generation and be capable of grid-connected or disconnected (islanded) operations. Unlike other microgrids, this design will incorporate smart grid capabilities including intelligent switches and high-speed communication links. The included controller will accommodate and utilize these smart grid features for enhanced performance and reduced costs. The microgrid controller will be open source, offering a flexible and robust development and implementation environment. The microgrid and controller design will also be scalable for different geographic areas, load sizes, distributed generation source number and types, and even multiple microgrids within an area.

Potential Impact:

If successful, innovations from the project could improve grid resiliency, lower costs, and promote the growth and integration of distributed energy resources.


Smart and flexible microgrids can help cut annual critical load interruption time from natural disasters and other disruptions by 98% from 50 minutes to 1 minute.


The team’s innovations could enable expanded use of microgrids and associated solar PV, which could contribute to a 1% reduction in CO2 emissions. 


The proposed microgrids could reduce the likelihood of costly power outages.


ARPA-E Program Director:
Dr. Mario Garcia-Sanz
Project Contact:
Prof. Fei (Fred) Wang
Press and General Inquiries Email:
Project Contact Email:


Electric Power Board
National Instruments
Electric Power Research Institute, Inc. (EPRI)
Green Energy Corporation

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