IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - May/June 2017 - 74

Modernizing
the Grid
By Julio Romero Aguero,
Erik Takayesu,
Damir Novosel, and
Ralph Masiello

I

IN ADDITION TO THEIR AGE, PARTICULARLY IN
large metropolitan areas, electric power systems through-
out the industrialized world face challenges brought on by
new technology trends, environmental concerns, evolving
weather patterns, a multiplicity of consumer needs, and
regulatory requirements. New technology trends include
the development of more efficient, reliable, and cost-effec-
tive renewable generation and distributed energy resources
(DERs), energy storage technologies, and electric vehicles
(EVs), along with monitoring, protection, automation, and
control devices and communications that offer significant
opportunities for realizing a sustainable energy future. The
medium- to long-term vision for the electrical grid is to
transition away from carbon-based fuels toward increased
penetration of renewable DERs and use of energy storage
and electric transportation.
In the past, the transmission and distribution (T&D)
system was designed and built to serve peak demand (and
comply with reliability and quality of service requirements);
it was a passive delivery infrastructure with a radial "down-
and-out" paradigm for delivering energy to consumers. Con-
sumers used what they needed or wanted, the wholesale
infrastructure provided the energy, and the T&D system pro-
vided it with no need for real-time operation. Distribution
operations consisted of construction, maintenance, and out-
age management-not of managing delivery per se.
Today, customers increasingly use the grid as a means
to balance their own generation and demand and as a sup-
plier of last resource when their own generation is unavail-
able. They expect to deliver excess generation back to the
Digital Object Identifier 10.1109/MPE.2017.2660819
Date of publication: 19 April 2017

74

ieee power & energy magazine

1540-7977/17©2017IEEE

may/june 2017



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