IDAHO FALLS, Idaho -

The Idaho National Laboratory will upgrade and expand its electrical test grid in a $10 million project.
   
INL smart grid communications team manager Bradley Nelson tells The Post Register that the U.S. Department of Energy wants to upgrade the desert site, which utilities and researchers use to try out new electrical components or security features.
   
Nelson says the project comes during the modernization of U.S. grid as a whole, which is beginning to include more interconnected smart grid features.
   
He says new features will include six miles of high-voltage power lines in a mesh configuration, three testing "pads" for trying out prototype equipment and a mobile command center.
   
Nelson says the project is expected to be complete sometime next year.