This quarterly newsletter highlights recent projects, partnerships, and resources from the G-PST Consortium.

Featured News

G-PST Core Team Partners Leading Universal Interoperability for Grid‐Forming Inverters Consortium

Two of the G-PST Consortium’s core team partners, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), are helping lead the Universal Interoperability for Grid‐Forming Inverters (UNIFI) Consortium. The UNIFI Consortium brings together leading researchers, industry stakeholders, utilities, and system operators to advance grid-forming inverter technologies and the integration of inverters into electric grids at any scale to enable high penetration of inverter-based resources (IBRs) like solar, wind, and battery storage. Co-led by NREL, EPRI, and the University of Washington, UNIFI also has three additional national laboratories, 11 universities, and 16 industry partners.

In August 2021, the United States Department of Energy’s Solar Energy Technologies Office announced they will be providing $25 million over five years to the UNIFI Consortium organizations for grid-forming inverter research, demonstration, and outreach. The G-PST Consortium will be a key partner of this work, which will support delivery of part of the G-PST Consortium’s Research Agenda focused on inverter design. The G-PST Consortium will also act as a conduit for global dissemination of UNIFI’s research findings.

Learn more about the UNIFI Consortium on NREL Program News.
Listen to Ben Kroposki, UNIFI Organizational Director, discuss the need for grid-forming inverters in future power systems: The Need for Grid-Forming Inverters in the Future Power Systems.

Pillar Highlights

Southeast Asia Community of Practice Now Underway

The G-PST Consortium and the Asia Low Emission Development Strategies (Asia LEDS) Partnership joined together to develop a community of practice for system operators in Southeast Asia focused on sharing lessons and good practices on advanced operational and engineering solutions to enable higher variable renewable energy (VRE) integration.

In the first Southeast Asia community of practice event, experts from Denmark, Indonesia, and Vietnam’s system operators, as well as EPRI, explored the diversity of methods used by system operators to track inertia, giving more confidence to operators in the control room that a system in transition can operate as securely as systems of the past.

Watch the recording and access the presentation deck: Tools and Case Studies for Inertia Monitoring and Calculation.

The second Southeast Asia community of practice event included speakers from NREL, Vietnam, and Australia, and focused on best practices to support advanced renewable energy forecasting and the role of advanced forecasting in power system transformation.

Watch the recording and access the presentation deck: Deep Dive on Advanced Renewable Energy Forecasting Techniques.

G-PST to Host System Operator Leadership Forum

To support the visionary goal of the G-PST Consortium to reduce power sector emissions by 50% globally by 2030, there is a need to build confidence within system operators at the highest level that reaching high VRE penetration, while ensuring system reliability, is possible.

To develop this confidence among system operators initiating the energy transition, the G-PST is hosting a virtual joint forum in October 2021 between the leadership of developing country system operators and those from the G-PST’s founding system operators (FSOs). These FSOs represent grid systems that are at the cutting-edge of the energy transition and regularly manage reliability under high VRE penetration.

This forum will provide a space for the FSOs to share their journeys, including key challenges, solutions, and good practices, as they have moved to high VRE penetration. The forum will be facilitated to encourage open dialogue in a small group setting to encourage honest and frank sharing of challenges, as well as knowledge and solutions, to build confidence at the highest levels within system operators globally, while also setting the stage for future peer learning and technical discussions between staff within the system operators.

USAID to Promote Gender Diversity in System Operator Workforce

Although women make up half of the workforce potential worldwide, they are typically under-represented in the power sector in roles such as utility management, planning, policy making, and engineering.

As part of the broader USAID-NREL Partnership, NREL is partnering with USAID to advance USAID’s women’s economic empowerment and gender equality efforts. This collaboration, called “Women in Power System Transformation”, aims to increase gender equality in the global transition to clean energy by integrating gender equity and related considerations into G-PST Consortium activities.

This project will provide in-depth technical capacity building for women in developing countries such that they can take up and excel in science and engineering professional roles in the rapidly evolving power sector. The technical education and training offered through G-PST Consortium will include both university-level engineering degree programs and on-the job training on operational and engineering grid integration approaches. These fellowships and opportunities will be tailored and promoted to encourage the maximum participation of women. The G-PST will be the launching pad for the program and provide links to industry and academic institutions that are leading the clean energy transition for the power sector.

Shaun Sweeney

Imperial College London and G-PST Host PhD Student Focused on Grid Studies

Shaun Sweeney will begin his Doctor of Philosophy studies at Imperial College London in September 2021 under the supervision of Pillar 3 lead, Professor Tim Green, as well as Professor Robert Shorten. During his PhD, Shaun will be looking at how emerging decentralized and distributed technologies can be used to enable increased digitalizati