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Idaho National Laboratory

About Idaho National Laboratory

Since 1951, Idaho National Laboratory has hosted more than 50 nuclear reactors, making it home to the largest concentration of reactors in the world. Today, the lab works to sustain core technical capabilities and develop innovative solutions that advance nuclear and other clean, smart and secure energy systems.

Hydropower systems and their integration into advanced power systems are core aspects of INL's Renewable Energy Program.

INL's capabilities fall within both marine and hydrokinetics and hydropower voucher opportunities.


Modeling and simulation — Experience in creating models of advanced hydropower plants, hydrodynamics, modular hydro, pumped storage hydro, run-of-the-river, transmission and distribution networks that can be utilized for a unit and system level performance assessment.

Systems integration & assessment — With multidisciplinary backgrounds across hydro, controls, power electronics and power systems, INL research spans a wide breadth of hydropower unit & systems. INL researchers worked on original design of 'Open-Hydro' technology being deployed globally. Hydropower market assessments, transient analysis, dynamic stability, and steady state assessments at a national grid scale are performed using INL-developed physics-based models in combination with a full suite of controls and power system commercial software. INL has developed models representing standard IEEE transmission and distribution networks in a real-time environment and has expertise in utilizing Phasor Measurement Units as both software and hardware for transmission and distribution network applications to perform wide area measurement and controls.

Cyber-Physical Power Components Research — INL has pioneered the science of resilient control architectures.This capability provides the ability to detect, protect, and recover from high consequent events (HCE), including malicious attacks.

Environmental Microbiology — Expertise includes bioremediation of chlorinated organics, heavy metals, etc; bioleaching of copper, gold, phosphates and rare earth metals; utilizing microorganisms to produce fuels and chemicals and assess environmental impacts resulting from introduction of rare earth metals and nanoparticles to waste streams. INL researchers can assess impacts to microbial communities as a result of MHK introduction and develop strategies to reduce formation of biofilms that could impact MHK performance.


Real-Time Power and Energy Systems Innovation Laboratory — researchers can investigate just about any dynamic power-related problem an individual might want to solve. Using Real Time Digital Simulator (RTDS) for hardware-in-the-loop / grid-in-the-loop, researchers at INL can simulate different scenarios that power utilities might face, various energy needs consumers will have, and how renewable energies will interact with the grid. With this "real-world" environment, researchers are able to test and validate hardware using field measurements.

Grid Resilience Test Bed — INL solves national challenges with technology innovation to enhance the resilience and security of the Smart Grid, secure control systems to reduce the threat of cyber-attack, and test physical devices and barriers for protecting substations and transformers from geomagnetic disturbance and ballistic attacks.

Control Systems Facilities — INL has a cross-spectrum of facilities that can be used for complex evaluation of control system designs for cyber security, advanced control, human performance and operational verification and validation.

Additional Information

INL Renewable Energy Program Homepage