IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - May/June 2016 - 27
TE systems are a promising approach for facilitating
such change, especially the integration of large numbers
of DERs, many of which will be owned by customers.
What Is a Framework, and Why Develop One?
The GWAC addressed this question in the "GridWise
Interoperability Context-Setting Framework." A subset of
that material is included here. As illustrated in Figure 1,
by framework, we mean something at a high, organizational, or conceptual level that provides neutral ground
upon which a community of stakeholders can discuss
issues and concerns related to a large, complex system.
The intent of the TE framework is to promote discussion
at the conceptual level of common features or elements of
specific models, designs, or implementations of TE systems. At this level, the framework is intended to be broad
The TE framework is intended to be useful to the multiple
stakeholders involved in application of TE systems including regulators, utility decision makers, vendors, asset owners (for example, building owners), researchers, developers,
and system integrators. In creating the TE framework, the
GWAC presumed an audience with a good understanding
of interoperability, familiarity with the GWAC interoperability context-setting framework, and knowledge of energy
markets and associated business models. People with this
level of background should be reasonably able to understand the proposed ideas, critically review them, and participate in reworking or refining the framework so that it
becomes a shared creation with tools that propagate and
serve the diverse smart grid community. The document
covers the topic of TE at an abstract, conceptual level.
This is because the GWAC does not want to prescribe specific implementations, and we hope to engage an audience
that includes policy makers, regulators, vendors, utilities,
researchers, practitioners, and end-use asset owners. Subsequent work products are expected to engage subsets of
this broad audience at levels that best communicate with
each targeted segment.
The document has been extended with material from
related workshops. For example, in December 2013, Southern California Edison hosted a GWAC workshop during
which participants were asked to describe their work on TE
systems in terms of the attributes defined in the draft framework document. The GWAC is further extending the document through the creation of a TE decision maker's checklist
and has also developed an infographic that shows how TE
applies at all levels of the grid (see Figure 2).
Building the Community
with the TE Framework
At the Second International Conference on Transactive
Energy, TE was likened to climbing a mountain. For each
person or organization wishing to scale the mountain, it
looks different because everyone can start from different
positions and choose different paths to the top. But what is
learned at the top is that TE is not the mountain itself but it is
the view from the top of the mountain. The view shows different ways to get places and achieve results, and looking at
that view shows different ways of implementation depending
on the paths taken to get to the top. For those who don't wish
to climb the mountain or who want to learn from the experiences of others that have made the climb already, a common
TE vocabulary and perspective are needed, and that is one of
the major goals of the GWAC's TE framework.
As with interoperability between two entities, the data
exchanged needs to be specified in an agreed-upon structured vocabulary that is common or shared between the
two entities. Thus, the TE framework aims to provide a
common view of the scope of TE systems and a common vocabulary so that organizations working together
or even in isolation can do so with the knowledge that
the resultant TE implementations have a better chance of
being able to coordinate their activities. This is important
because TE systems provide a way to maintain the reliability and security of the power system while increasing efficiency by coordinating the activity of the growing
number of DERs.
But as well as coordinating the responses of physical
devices, a common vocabulary and shared understanding
figure 1. A framework provides a high-level perspective.
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