IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - May/June 2016 - 29
table 1. TE system attributes.
of context provide the basis to create a community of practice. Distributed computing or control exists when the
decentralized elements explicitly cooperate to solve a common problem. Mechanisms to ensure that decentralized
elements stay focused on the common problem are known
as coordination methods. GWAC's TE framework provides
a rudimentary coordination method for engineers, regulators, economists, and many others to work together to seek
out opportunities for TE.
Using a common vocabulary and building a community
of practice are two of the benefits of using a common framework because of the following:
✔ By creating and evolving a common framework, it is
possible to create a consistent way of thinking and
communicating about a domain that is embodied in
model language or taxonomy. Consistent language
and communication helps domains of knowledge
(such as TE) evolve into disciplines where a common
language can translate into repeatable, consistent, and
predictable performance over time
✔ A common model and approach can tie a community
together. Organizations not only can compare their
challenges and successes against peer organizations
but also can participate in a forum to provide solid
empirical data for the establishment of best practices,
which is clearly an advantage that can be facilitated
through exchanges within peer communities.
The TE framework defines TE as "a system of economic
and control mechanisms that allows the dynamic balance
of supply and demand across the entire electrical infrastructure using value as a key operational parameter."
This definition is purposely broad because it is intended to
encompass a variety of possible methodologies and implementations of TE systems within the electric power system and even across the meter in end uses such as building
energy management systems. This definition recognizes
the need to consider both economics and control, or operational considerations, to assure that systems both provide
opportunity for economic efficiency and address reliability
and other concerns.
the TE framework also defines attributes of TE systems.
These attributes are summarized in Table 1.
In addition to defining attributes, the TE framework also
defines six principles embodying general requirements that
a TE system should exhibit. These principles originated in
the GWAC TE workshop held at PJM in February 2014. A
draft set of principles formulated during the workshop and
further refined by a working group of GWAC members and
volunteers resulted in the following:
✔ TE systems implement some form of highly coordinated self-optimization.
✔ TE systems should maintain system reliability and
control while enabling optimal integration of renewables and DERs.
✔ TE systems should provide for nondiscriminatory participation by qualified participants.
✔ TE systems should be observable and auditable at
✔ TE systems should be scalable, adaptable, and extensible across a number of devices, participants, and
✔ Transacting parties are accountable for standards of
The introduction of renewable resources, first in the bulk
power system and increasingly in distribution systems, has
led to significant variability in supply. This variability must
be offset through balancing reserves or other means such
as engaging flexibility in demand-side assets. The growing
penetration of rooftop photovoltaics in distribution systems
brings both the variability of a renewable resource and a
need for distribution utilities to coordinate growing numbers of variable loads and distributed resources to maintain
a balanced and reliable system feeder by feeder. As DER
penetration levels continue to rise, distribution utilities,
and the electric power system in general, are faced with
an increasingly challenging problem of how to continue to
operate and maintain a reliable system.
In the spirit of building a community of practice and enabling
the comparison of different methodologies and approaches,
The use of incentives, retail markets, and similar mechanisms has begun to be considered for DER integration. The
growing utilization of variable resources will require the
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