This quarterly newsletter highlights recent projects, partnerships, and resources from the G-PST Consortium.
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.
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.
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 digitalization of the electricity grid, with a particular focus on how these technologies can be used to enable system operators to leverage flexibility from distribution network assets, such as electric vehicles, while ensuring fairness, security, and privacy for asset owners through a lens of sustainability across the whole lifecycle of the assets.
“My experience in industry and academia has enabled me to understand not only the urgency with which we must transform our energy system to sustainability, but also the scale and diversity of the challenges we face,” said Sweeney. “I am excited to work on demonstrating how new technologies and increased grid digitalization can increase the amount of renewables the grid can support and eliminate limitations in how the electricity grid is currently operated.”
Inverter-Based Resources Research Team Launched
While the role of the power systems – to provide reliable electricity at least cost – remains unchanged, how that role is fulfilled is changing as the power system becomes increasingly variable, inverter-based, and distributed. Pillar 1 established the IBR Research Team to identify and address critical research gaps surrounding the reliable planning and operation of the power system under high penetrations of IBRs.
The IBR Research Team is divided into two main workstreams: Needs and Services, and Tools and Models. The IBR Research Team’s Needs and Services workstream is focused on managing the evolution of power systems’ transition from largely synchronous to IBR-driven, while the Tools and Models workstream is focused on identifying critical gaps in the capabilities of current tools and models in use by system operators and planners, as well as identifying the potential for new tools that can adequately describe the behavior of IBR.
Learn more about the IBR Research Team.
Pillar 1 Provides Input to Research Roadmaps for Power System Transformation in Australia
In collaboration with Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) and Australian Energy Market Operators (AEMO), G-PST’s Pillar 1 helped complete several research roadmaps that apply several of the G-PST’s Research Agenda topics to the Australian context. These roadmaps span across the following topic areas: inverter design, stability tools, control rooms of the future, planning, restoration and black start, services, architecture, distributed energy resources (DERs), and the intersection of DERs and stability. Each roadmap will outline key tasks and work to implement the research plans, interaction with other topic areas, and the resourcing requirements to deliver the research plans. By taking part in this initiative, G-PST’s Pillar 1 can more broadly identify what research gaps remain that AEMO can address as they transition to higher shares of renewable energy.
Pillar 5 Portal Aggregates Open-Source Power System Software
G-PST’s Pillar 5, led by VTT Finland with support from NREL, is developing an open-source tool portal to help filter, visualize, and identify open-source power systems software capabilities. This portal will be a practice-oriented resource aimed at making it easier for system operators, planners, and modelers to find useful tools for managing power systems with high shares of variable renewable energy, such as wind and solar.
The beta version portal is now live and the Pillar 5 team is in the process of collecting tool submissions. The portal will be accessible to anyone through the G-PST website in the coming weeks. Submissions and feedback on how to improve the portal usefulness are encouraged. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Events and Trainings
Preparing a System Operator’s Study Environment for a 100% Inverter-based Power System
October 13, 2021 – 3:00 PM EDT | Featured Speaker: Christian Frank Flytkjær, Senior Manager, Grid Analysis, Energinet
This presentation will feature a series of examples ranging from grid integration and operation of wind power plant and interconnectors hybrids, to design and integration of Denmark’s future energy islands (integration of systems in systems), to dimensioning of fast reserves and key findings from a number of critical events that occurred in the Danish system. Strategies for ensuring model performance and maintenance will be discussed as well. Register.
November 10, 2021 – 4:00 PM EST | Featured Speaker: Sebastian Achilles, Managing Director Power Systems Operation and Planning, GE Energy Consulting
This webinar will introduce the types of performance issues associated with weak grid and related mitigations used in the industry and how the weak grid operation challenges have changed in recent years due to the large deployment of IBRs, and aspects of grid code requirements that affect the risk of weak grid related issues in the lifetime of IBR plants. The presentation will also include observations on study, modeling and short circuit ratio (SCR) screening aspects based on recent experiences. Register.
Spine Toolbox: Data, Workflow and Scenario Management for Modelling – September 8, 2021: Spine Toolbox is an open-source software to manage data, scenarios, and workflows for energy system modelling and simulation. This webinar provides an overview of the different functionalities and showcases them through two examples.
IEEE Standard 1547: DER Requirements and Implementation to Interconnection Processes – August 26, 2021: This presentation introduces key concepts and functionality required for IEEE Standard 1547 compliant DERs. The presentation also includes discussion of overall DER capabilities and grid support functions under normal and abnormal grid conditions.
Cybersecurity for Electrical Utilities in India: Trends and Challenges – August 25, 2021: The shift toward renewables will change the electric grid’s attack surface and require new thinking around how best to secure this critical infrastructure. This webinar provides an overview of the trends and challenges associated with electrical grid cybersecurity with a focus on considerations specific to India.
STATCOM Strategy and Application in East Germany – July 15, 2021: This webinar gives an overview of the challenges posed upon the East-German Transmission System and presents the current strategy to overcome said challenges with regards to voltage regulation and inertia provided by grid-forming STATCOM.
Bringing Renewables onto the Grid – Session at Enlit Africa – June 9, 2021: An expert group from CSIR, NREL, National Grid, and South Africa’s system operator, Eskom, joined the Enlit Africa-Connect conference to discuss the G-PST’s Consortium’s mission and pathways to bringing more renewable energy onto grids around the world. Watch the recording and read the session’s analysis in full on ESI Africa.
G-PST Power System Sharing Series #3: The Grid Code Adaptation Toward VRE Integration – June 9, 2021: The third installment of the Power System Sharing Series, hosted in partnership with Indonesia’s system operator, PLN, focused on grid code adaption. This webinar was delivered for PLN Indonesia staff and stakeholders and speakers include experts from PLN, IEEE, AIT, and EPRI.