The Bridge - Issue 3, 2020 - 12

THE FUTURE OF RENEWABLE ENERGY TRANSMISSION:

An Autonomous Energy Grid
Benjamin Kroposki, Andrey Bernstein, and Jennifer King
Note: This article is a summary of "Autonomous Energy Grids:
Controlling the Future Grid with Large Amounts of Distributed
Energy Resources" by B. Kroposki et al. to be published in
IEEE Power and Energy Magazine, November/December
2020. Listed as reference 2 in the bibliography.

Background
The drastic price reduction in variable renewable
energy, such as wind and solar, coupled with the ease
of use of smart technologies at the consumer level, is
driving dramatic changes to the power system that will
significantly transform how power is made, delivered, and
used. Distributed energy resources (DERs)-which can
include solar photovoltaic (PV), fuel cells, microturbines,
gensets, distributed energy storage (e.g., batteries, ice
storage), and new loads (e.g., electric vehicles (EVs),
light-emitting diode (LED) lighting, smart appliances,
and electric heat pumps)-are being added to electric
grids and causing bidirectional power flows and voltage
fluctuations that can impact optimal control and system
operation. Residential solar installations, customer
battery systems, and EVs are all seeing rapid increases
in deployments. With DER seeing such increased use,
it is not unreasonable to imagine a residential electricity
customer having at least five controllable DERs. In future
electric grids, as more DERs are integrated, the number
of active control points will be too much for current
control approaches to effectively manage.

THE BRIDGE

Imagine, for example, the San Francisco Bay
Area, which has a large distribution system with
approximately 4.5 million customers. What if each
customer had a PV system, a battery energy storage
system, an EV, a smart thermostat, and controllable
lighting loads? This would amount to approximately
10-20 million controllable devices capable of
producing, storing, and consuming electricity. Currently,
no control systems are capable of ingesting 20 million
data streams and making real-time operation decisions.
In current large-scale grids, such as the Eastern
Interconnection in the United States, central station
power plants provide power to loads and have on the
order of 10,000 points of control. Control systems work
well when there are a limited number of active control
points in the system, but to deal with the massive
amounts of new DER technologies and the availability
of grid measurements, a new control framework needs
to be developed. The framework needs to monitor,
control, and optimize large-scale grids with significantly
high penetration levels of variable generation and
DERs; it needs to process the deluge of data from
pervasive metering; and it needs to implement a
variety of new market mechanisms, including multilevel
ancillary services. To handle this highly distributed
energy future, we propose the concept of autonomous
energy grids (AEGs).


https://hkn.ieee.org/ https://hkn.ieee.org/

The Bridge - Issue 3, 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Bridge - Issue 3, 2020

Contents
The Bridge - Issue 3, 2020 - Cover1
The Bridge - Issue 3, 2020 - Cover2
The Bridge - Issue 3, 2020 - Contents
The Bridge - Issue 3, 2020 - 4
The Bridge - Issue 3, 2020 - 5
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The Bridge - Issue 3, 2020 - Cover3
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