Funding Agency:
Department of Energy

Optimal utilization of all grid assets requires a fundamental shift in grid management rooted in an understanding of asset risk and system risk. ARPA-E seeks innovative management systems that (i) represent the relative delivery risk of each asset and (ii) balance the collective risk of all assets across the grid. A risk-driven paradigm will allow operators to fully understand the true likelihood of maintaining a supply-demand balance and system reliability; this is critical for all power systems and is essential for grids with high levels of stochastic resources.

Existing management practices were designed for a grid consisting of and fully reliant on conventional generation assets. Present operational and planning practices do not acknowledge or leverage the true capabilities and associated challenges of emerging assets. A risk-driven paradigm will allow emerging assets to be trusted and relied upon to provide the critical products and services necessary to maintain an efficient and reliable grid, thereby breaking the persistent reliance on conventional generation technologies.

Through the Performance-based Energy Resource Feedback, Optimization, and Risk Management (PERFORM) program, Applicants will propose methods to quantify and manage risk at the asset level and at the system level. At the asset level, ARPA-E envisions the design of a risk score or measure that clearly communicates the physical delivery risk of an asset’s offer, similar to the role a credit score plays in determining the creditworthiness of an individual. At the system level, ARPA-E envisions the design of grid management systems that endogenously capture uncertainty and evaluate and hedge the system risk position to meet or exceed a baseline system risk index. The anticipated outcome of PERFORM is a transformative and disruptive risk-driven grid management paradigm that optimally utilizes all assets (including emerging technologies) to reduce costs and improve reliability.

ARPA-E expects PERFORM awardees to build on existing practices and expertise from the finance, insurance, and actuarial science communities, which have a long history of defining, quantifying, and hedging risk. Applicants should pursue partnerships with these communities along with domain-specific experts (e.g., engineers, operations researchers, and market designers) to achieve technically relevant innovative solutions. PERFORM is targeting all power sectors: (i) bulk and distribution systems, (ii) centralized and decentralized paradigms, and (iii) vertically integrated utilities, markets, and peer-to-peer transactive energy systems.

Deadline for Concept Papers: Oct. 28, 2019

Agency Website

Eligibility Requirements

This FOA is open to U.S. universities, national laboratories, industry and individuals.



Amount Description

ARPA‐E expects to make approximately $30 million available for new awards under this FOA, subject to the availability of appropriated funds.  ARPA‐E anticipates making approximately 8‐ 12 awards under this FOA.  ARPA‐E may, at its discretion, issue one, multiple, or no awards.    Individual awards may vary between $250,000 and $10 million.

Funding Type





Engineering and Physical Sciences

External Deadline

October 28, 2019