US Energy department (Department of Energy) has given out over $1M to InfoBeyond Technology LLC, a software firm to aid their blockchain research in power grid security.

InfoBeyond, who are already midway into the research titled the project “Gridchain: An Auditable Blockchain for Smart Grid Data Integrity and Immutability. They got the US Energy department rant in this week’s selection for Phase II research and development (R&D) stage-level projects after scaling through stage one of the development process in March 31.

The project aims to support the security of data in a large-scale power system. The US Energy Department report, however, states that the software firm described the project as a way to improve the national power grid’s security and protect data against potential cyberattacks.

Bin Xie elaborates on Gridchain

InfoBeyond founder and principal investigator for the project Bin Xie, said that Gridchain, a blockchain-based technology, uses techniques that ensure the integrity and immutability of power grid data and provides a critical infrastructure with an entirely new level of resiliency to cybersecurity threats.

There have been several potential solutions to handle these threats the software firm believes; however, certain critical issues are left out, which part of it is efficient and scalable blockchain design, smart contract security, and data feed integrity, among others.

It marks as the first project that would bring together blockchain alongside OpenField Message Bus (OpenFMB) architecture, which has been adopted by the North American Energy Standards Board (NAESB). It focuses on distributed intelligence and interoperability.

Xie said merging these technologies is a reduced way of centralizing control and management of power grids. “Furthermore, it allows distributed intelligence and grid-edge interoperability at the circuit level, empowered by a distributed architecture for grid data exchange,” he said.

US Energy department bankrolls grant through its SBIR program

The US Energy department funded the project through its Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program. It is usually awarded in Phase II of the development stage. The time allotted for the project to be delivered is two years, according to the energy department report.

InfoBeyond Technology LLC is one of the 92 businesses in 31 states that is being supported by DOE’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs.