IEEE Electrification Magazine - March 2015 - 80

Figure 1. Microgrid experts from around the globe gather in Tianjin.

participation was achieved, with 106 attendees from 18
countries (Figure 1). There were 26 technical presentations
by speakers from around the globe as well as a panel session on standards development and technical tours to the
Tianjin Eco-City sustainable city development, Tianjin University's Microgrid Laboratory, and the Yanqing dc
microgrid near Beijing. The formal welcome was offered by
Zhipeng Liang, deputy director of the
Renewable Energy Department, Chinese National Energy Administration.
The microgrid RD&D landscape
has clearly changed dramatically over
the ten-year life of the symposium,
which began as a small retreat of 44
microgrid researchers who met as a
side event to the 2005 IEEE Power &
Energy Summer Meeting in San Francisco, California. Following the success
of that event, similar ones were held
annually near Montreal, Canada;
Nagoya, Japan; and on Kythnos island,
Greece, with attendance doubling over
the six-year period.
Early meetings were focused on
the few tangible demonstrations in
progress and the available theoretical
literature, of which there was little.
The Kythnos 2008 Symposium was
held at the only sizable hotel on that
Greek island, close to the groundbreaking Gaiduromantra Village project. The symposiums
are always held at locations where microgrid work of interest is found.
The scarcity of microgrid work presented at the early
events is quite a contrast to the plethora of microgrid literature that a microgrid keyword search returns today. The
community was also small, with virtually everyone on a
first-name basis-a welcoming and informal (perhaps a
touch conspiratorial) atmosphere the symposium struggles

to maintain to this day, minimizing formalities and maximizing available time for open questions and discussion.
Microgrids slid into the mainstream around 2007, when
some survey articles began to appear in the trade press. At
this time, interest in microgrids began a noticeable acceleration. Following the 2009 San Diego event, it was clear the
symposium had to be placed on a more formal footing,
with sponsorship and carefully managed participation to maintain its
relaxed character. This pattern established then has endured. The symposiums follow a rough rotation around
three regions, Asia, Europe, and the
Americas. Speakers and chairing of
sessions are organized by the regional
representatives of a 17-member International Steering Committee, with a
temporary local organizing committee
raising funding for logistical costs and
taking care of all those pesky details.
Microgrid history turned another
corner after the tragic 2011 Eastern
Japan earthquake and tsunami. The
symposium on Jeju island, Korea, followed only a couple of months later.
Given its proximity to Japan, which
played a dominant role in early
microgrid development, and the personal connections of many attendees to
that suffering nation, there was an inevitable sadness, despite the outstanding efforts of our hosts. To
mark these disturbing events, a panel session, "Microgrids and
Disasters," was held, the first of a series that became a regular
feature. Hurricane Sandy hit the northeast United States the
following year and transformed microgrid thinking, especially
in these two unfortunate and leading microgrid RD&D countries. Resiliency and restoration became microgrids' most
powerful drivers, a state we remain in today, although less so
outside Japan and the United States.

The extension of
PMU technology
to smaller systems
requires a suitable
adaptation of the
existing standard
to cope with the
tighter accuracy
requirements in
static, distorted, and
dynamic conditions.

80

I E E E E l e c t r i f i c ati o n M agaz ine / March 2015



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