IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - November/December 2016 - 94

in my view (continued from p. 96)
There is no doubt that advanced
technology, with proper testing and controls, allows staff to work smarter with
improved productivity. Pilot projects
and the staged deployment of advanced
technology are key to demonstrating the
viability of new tools and approaches
without sacrificing necessary reliability
margins. Grid operators, control center
support staff, and management need to
be involved in the development phase(s)
to insure that the technology is useful
and usable in the operating centers.
Prosumers are changing utility services and challenging business models
in ways that are potentially disruptive
and require flexibility and agility not
typical of historical utility operations
and design. Advances in communication protocols and standards are critical
to fully capture the benefits of new approaches
and capabilities enabled
by new technologies.
Increased worldwide
environmental concerns
(global warming, greenhouse gas emissions, and
air toxic emissions) are
already driving change
in the form of newer
and stricter regulations
nationally and unprecedented treaties and
agreements internationally. The reduced use or
elimination of fossil fuels (coal and oil) must be
offset by cleaner, more
efficient, and nontraditional generation supply
and demand resources.
Renewable resources can be expected
to make up a majority of the energy to
the future grid, and advanced technology will be required to address concerns
about the challenges and impacts of intermittent resources, particularly in local
areas and smaller systems. Utility scale
and distributed renewable resources need
not pose a reliability or security concern,
given existing technology and innovative
approaches to effectively integrate what

have been considered nondispatchable
resources. The changing resource portfolio will challenge traditional methods
used in planning and operating the bulk
electric system. The local integration of
wind and solar resources will have a similar, perhaps greater, impact on distribution planning, operations, and reliability.
The deployment of proven technology could provide tremendous efficiency
gains and environmental benefits to the
bulk power system, as noted by the recent
U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric
Administration study. Existing market
protocols and business practices, transmission planning, as well as operational
reliability metrics need to evolve and be
integrated into interregional planning processes to be truly collaborative and effective. Technology can facilitate necessary
analyses and improve
understanding regarding
future events and interactions that previously
were considered too
extreme given historical
resource constraints and
time pressures.
Serious consideration in planning a
continental extra-highvoltage power grid is
necessary to ensure
security of electricity
supply. A continental
ex t r a - h ig h -volt a ge
grid can enable cross
energy sector market
activity that will optimize continental infrastructure investment,
reliability, security,
and resilience against cyber or physical attacks. Technology in distributed
control and autonomous operation will
be required to ensure reliable operation
during all time scales. Operations personnel will provide control, authority,
and direction of the continental grid active functions while grid artificial intelligence maintains secure operations in
time varying conditions due to weather,
renewable energy variability, load vari-

Serious
consideration
in planning
a continental
extra-highvoltage
power grid is
necessary to
ensure security
of electricity
supply.

94

ieee power & energy magazine

ability, and planned and unplanned outage conditions.
Since the late 1960s, there have been
various proposals for a continent-wide
interconnection. Many of those studies
generally recognized that the cost of a
truly inclusive and fully synchronous
transnational interconnection would far
outweigh either (or both) the reliability
or economic benefits of that investment.
More recently, transmission reinforcements and expansion on both sides of the
east/west boundary have the potential to
reduce the overall incremental cost of an
east/west interconnection. Some would
argue that the existing configuration
(Eastern, Western, Texas, and Quebec),
which evolved over many decades, currently provides significant reliability
benefits by using controlled asynchronous high-voltage dc ties among those interconnections that are reasonably sized
with respect to cost and benefit. Following the 2003 North American Eastern Interconnection blackout, some discussion
even suggested that the Eastern Interconnection might be too large. The benefits
and costs of modernizing the seam(s) between the grids in North America need
to be based on a holistic, coordinated
plan with good models and sound analytics reflecting technology that has been
proven and deployed in Asia and Europe.
Grid modernization requires new
technologies, and the future is promising
thanks to programs like the U.S. Department of Energy's Grid Modernization
Laboratory Collaborative and EPRI's
Integrated Grid. The deployment of advanced power electronics broadly to improve controllability will create a bulk
power system with capabilities needed
for the 21st century. Although the bulk
power industry must be conservative in
deploying new capabilities, the benefits
of technological advances on system
operations and maintenance, as well as
workforce development, cannot be overlooked as we develop and design the future grid to address consumer needs in a
reliable, efficient, and effective manner.
p&e
november/december 2016



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - November/December 2016

IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - November/December 2016 - Cover1
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IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - November/December 2016 - Cover3
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