Atom Computing and National Renewable Energy Laboratory exploring power grid optimization using Quantum Computing

Atom Computing and National Renewable Energy Laboratory exploring power grid optimization using Quantum Computing

BOULDER, Col., July 20, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Atom Computing and the US Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) today announced a collaboration to explore how quantum computing can help optimize power grid operations.

during this week General Assembly of the IEEE Power and Energy SocietyNREL researchers demonstrated how they incorporated atomic array quantum computing technologies from Atom Computing into the lab’s Advanced Research on Integrated Energy Systems (ARIES) research platform and its hardware-in-the-loop testing to create a first-of-its-kind “quantum-in-the-loop” capability capable of performing certain types of optimization problems on a quantum computer.

Dr. Rob Hovsapiana research consultant at NREL, called the new capability an important step toward understanding how quantum computers can better balance energy loads across an electrical grid.

“Electricity grids are increasingly complex as we add new power generation resources such as wind and solar, electric vehicle charging, sensors and other devices,” he said. “We are reaching the point where power grids have more inputs and outputs than our classical computer models can handle. By incorporating quantum computing into our test platform, we can begin to explore how this technology could help solve certain problems.”

Optimization problems such as managing supply chains, devising more efficient transportation routes, and improving power grid and telecommunications networks are considered “killer applications” for quantum computing. These are large-scale problems with many factors and variables involved, making them well suited to quantum computers and the way they do the calculations.

Keeping the energy flowing through a power grid is a good example of an optimization problem. Power plants, wind turbines and solar farms must generate enough electricity to meet demand, which can vary depending on the time of day and weather conditions. This electricity is then routed through miles upon miles of transmission lines and delivered to homes, businesses, hospitals and other facilities in real time.

Initially, NREL and Atom Computing are exploring how quantum computing can improve power rerouting decision making between power lines that carry electricity from a substation to a local or regional utility area in the event of a line switch or outage.

“Right now, operators are mostly relying on their own experience to make this decision,” Hovsapian said. “It works, but it doesn’t necessarily translate into an optimal solution. We’re evaluating how a quantum computer could provide better data to make these decisions.”

CEO of Atom Computing Rob Hays he called the project an important example of how private industry and national laboratories can collaborate on quantum computing technology and the development of valuable use cases.

“Collaborations like this are extremely important to advancing quantum computing and scientific research,” said Hays. “NREL is a global leader in renewable energy and power grids. We are proud to partner with them to advance their research.”

To learn more about Atom Computing visit:

Information on atomic computing

Atom Computing is building scalable quantum computers with atomic arrays of optically trapped neutral atoms. We partner with researchers, organizations, governments, and businesses to help develop quantum-enabled tools and solutions; and support the growing global ecosystem. Find out more at and follow us on LinkedIn AND Chirping.

SOURCE Atomic calculation

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