The Energy Dept. will spend $220 million over three years to develop new grid technologies that will allow more distributed generation, including renewable energy and energy storage, on the grid. National laboratories, utilities and other industry participants received awards up to $6.5 million over two years to test engineering designed to improve the grid’s ability to respond and adapt to changes in energy consumption and demand.

Among the awards is a $3-million grant to Southern Co. and Emerson Climate Technologies to develop whole-building diagnostics to improve energy efficiency, including enabling grid responsive loads. Alaskan governments and universities were awarded a $1-million grant over two years to develop microgrids to help reduce fuel consumption.