The Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) has reached out to GridSME to prepare a study that looks at the current state of grid control processes and technologies and will suggest how to improve electric grid control systems to maintain or increase reliability and advance the integration of new technologies particularly in the West.
GridSME is thrilled to partner with LBNL and looks forward to digging deeper into these issues. This project represents another demonstration of how GridSME is fulfilling its mission of Facilitating Change in Our Industry.
Numerous studies and reports have been generated which try to define best practices in both technologies and processes. That the Western Interconnection needs to make more widespread use of these new and existing technologies and practices is well known. Since the August 14, 2003 Northeast blackout, there have been numerous studies, surveys, and research into the causes of grid instability, separation, and cascading outages and proposed fixes to those problems. Technological changes, like the addition of large amounts of renewable energy require entities to better adapt to variable generation and increase transmission flexibility. As the San Diego outage on September 8, 2011 indicated, even with all the information on benefits, reliability improvements, standards and best practices, there still are gaps in adoption of these systems and practices with utilities in the Western Interconnection. To allow the current western grid infrastructure to be used more effectively, reliably, and flexibly, entities need to redouble their efforts relating to these initiatives.