IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - November/December 2016 - 96

in my view

Jay Caspary and Bob Waldele

leverage technology
maximizing value in the bulk power industry

T

TEChNOLOGICAL ADvANCES ARE
paramount for the bulk power system of
the future. The integrated grid blurs the
lines between transmission and distribution functions with increased renewable
penetration, microgrid deployments,
advances in power electronics and controls, and improvements in telecommunications and computing capabilities.
New measurement techniques and instrumentation make it possible to capture
power system parameters in real time,
something that was not even considered
25 years ago. The increasing volume
and complexity of this data will require
creative and innovative approaches to
address the challenges in planning and
operating the future grid. This grid will
need to leverage existing assets, most
notably existing rights of way in key corridors, must be self-healing, and enable
markets to ensure affordability.
With pressure to minimize rate increases, the bulk power industry needs
to leverage technology to maximize the
value and capabilities of existing assets
without adversely impacting system reliability metrics that are of critical importance to consumers and regulators. Technology will provide alternative solutions
to improve the utilization of existing
transmission facilities and increase efficiency of existing generation assets, such
as transmission line renewal using newer
design conductor for higher ampacity, series compensation of transmission lines
to improve loadability, and life-extension
Digital Object Identifier 10.1109/MPE.2016.2593764
Date of publication: 19 October 2016

96

ieee power & energy magazine

and efficiency improvements to the generation fleet. These can be accomplished
at significantly lower capital costs than
building new, although new approaches
for project scheduling and implementation will be necessary to accommodate
outages during the rebuilding or upgrading of existing assets.
Millennials, as consumers and service
providers of the future grid, will force
changes to the power supply system that
need advanced solutions enabled by new
technology in terms of
sensors/controls for markets and essential reliability services that utilize risk-based stochastic
planning rather than deterministic criteria.
The ability to manage new challenges and
risks associated with
physical security (natural sources including
severe weather, earthquake, and geomagnetic-induced current or
man-made including
terrorist sabotage, acts
of war, and electromagnetic pulse) or cybersecurity attacks will
require new tools and capabilities to be
deployed that generally have not been
core competencies of traditional utility
operations and planning functions. The
reliability rules of specific regions have
historically addressed certain aspects
with requirements to evaluate "high-risk
conditions." Now the evolving national
electric reliability rules are explicitly ad-

dressing many aspects of physical and cybersecurity. Technology has a significant
role in helping the bulk power industry
effectively address concerns and provide
resilience for a grid threatened by physical security that could have profound implications on this future grid.
Synchrophasors offer tremendous
insight into system performance and the
condition of power system components
that enable not only a smart grid with
superior capabilities but also improved
diagnosis of events and
the ability to preempt
catastrophic failure of
aging infrastructure that
will only worsen with
time and budgetary constraints. For this to be
useful and effective in
real time, it will require
a comprehensive system
operator interface to visualize the synchrophasor data and operator
training to understand
what the synchrophasor
data is telling us. New
technologies are needed
to improve visualization, situational awareness, and guidance
to grid operators for better efficiency and
effectiveness. however, the new information and tools for the grid operators must
be designed and implemented to minimize the risk of information overload,
which could result in the operators' loss
of situational awareness.

This grid
will need
to leverage
existing assets,
must be selfhealing, and
enable markets
to ensure
affordability.

(continued on p. 94)
november/december 2016



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