The Department of Energy (DoE) announced $45 million of investments that aim to create, accelerate, and test next-generation technology to protect the electric grid from cyberattacks and ensure the seamless offering of clean and cheap energy to Americans.

DoE’s Office of Cybersecurity, Energy Security, and Emergency Response will manage the funding. The money will support up to 15 research, development, and demonstration projects that will focus on developing new cybersecurity tools and technologies designed to reduce cyber risks for energy delivery infrastructure.

Researchers will aim to develop tools and technologies that enable energy systems to autonomously recognize cyberattacks, attempt to prevent them, and automatically isolate and eradicate them without disrupting energy delivery.

DoE has six proposed topic areas for the projects, including:

  • Automated Cyberattack Prevention and Mitigation;
  • Security and Resiliency by Design;
  • Authentication Mechanisms for Energy Delivery Systems;
  • Automated Methods to Discover and Mitigate Vulnerabilities;
  • Cybersecurity through Advanced Software Solutions; and
  • Integration of New Concepts and Technologies with Existing Infrastructure.

“As DoE builds out America’s clean energy infrastructure, this funding will provide the tools for a strong, resilient, and secure electricity grid that can withstand modern cyber threats and deliver energy to every pocket of America,” said U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm, in a press release.

Cybersecurity remains a priority as clean energy technologies deployed on the grid become highly automated. And building a strong and secure energy infrastructure across the country is a key component of reaching President Biden’s goal of a net-zero carbon economy by 2050.

“DoE will use this investment to continue delivering on the Biden Administration’s commitment to making energy cheaper, cleaner, and more reliable,” Granholm said.

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Lisbeth Perez
Lisbeth Perez
Lisbeth Perez is a MeriTalk Senior Technology Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.