To help regulators keep on top of changes in technologies and best practices in distribution system planning, Berkeley Lab, in partnership with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, and the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC), led the first in a series of regional training sessions on September 27–29 at the Maine Public Utilities Commission in Portland, Maine. Approximately 40 public utility commissioners and staff from the six New England states attended the training to inform their ongoing grid modernization efforts related to distribution system planning, grid modernization investment plans, distributed energy storage, and transportation electrification.
The Department of Energy recently announced seven new National Laboratory-led projects to develop and validate innovative approaches for grid resiliency. As part of the department’s Grid Modernization Initiative, the projects focus on the integration of clean distributed energy resources (DER), advanced controls, grid architecture and emerging grid technologies at a regional scale. Coordinated through the Grid Modernization Laboratory Consortium in collaboration with both public and private partners, the projects are expected to deliver credible information on technical and economic viability of the solutions, as well as demonstrate viability to key stakeholders who are ultimately responsible for approving and investing in grid modernization activities.
Stakeholders gathered at the Solar Share community solar array in Chattanooga, Tennessee, as the city’s Electric Power Board utility energized a new 100kW/400kWh Vanadium Redox Flow Battery that will be used for a wide variety of power grid integration and energy management applications. This accomplishment is part of national research efforts to explore the best use of cutting edge technologies that could be implemented across the United States to modernize the power grid.
The Dynamic Contingency Analysis Tool, or DCAT, uses cascading failure analyses to screen for weak spots on the grid, evolving beyond previous “steady-state contingency analysis” tools to “dynamic analysis” to simulate the sequences of cascading outages.
Researchers at PNNL joined with colleagues at Montana Tech and the University of Wyoming to develop Mode Meter. This software uses data from advanced sensors—called synchrophasors— placed on power lines and other electrical transmission devices to obtain precise, time-synchronized data about power grid operation.
NREL partnered with SolarCity and the DOE Solar Energy Technology Office to quantify the impacts of ground fault and load rejection overvoltage in Hawaii.
NREL and partner GE Grid Solutions simulated future circuit operations with a distribution management system provided by Duke, comparing three operating modes: with conventional inverters; with advanced inverters providing local power control; and with advanced inverters coordinated by the DMS to optimize voltage control.
Through a DOE Smart Grid Investment Grant, the Electric Power Board of Chattanooga secured funding to accelerate the modernization of their power infrastructure.
NREL convened the Eastern Renewable Generation Integration Study—or ERGIS—a high-performance computing effort for understanding impacts of higher renewable penetrations.
Following Superstorm Sandy, rebuild efforts led by rail operators, including the NJ Transit Corporation, focused on protecting transportation infrastructure against physical damage. Recognizing the dependence on electricity supply, NJ Transit Corporation proposed the development of a resilient transportation microgrid called NJ TransitGrid, a first-of-its-kind microgrid capable of keeping the power running during a grid outage.
Researchers at PNNL developed a software tool that greatly improves the accuracy of net interchange predictions. The tool, called the Power Model Integrator, adaptively combines the strengths of different forecasting models continuously and in real time.
In collaboration with partners, researchers at PNNL used high-performance computing techniques to develop a “real-time path rating” software tool that allows operators to maximize the use of today’s transmission assets and tap into unused capacity.
Recognizing trends in technological innovation and system security, New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo established the Reforming the Energy Vision (REV) in March 2015. This new energy initiative includes ambitious clean energy targets.