System Operator Research & Peer Learning2021-10-31T17:16:36-04:00

Pillar 1 – System Operator Research & Peer Learning

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Representatives from leading global technical institutes and the G-PST Founding System Operators (FSOs) have formulated and are currently pursuing a research agenda that lays out the near-term applied research priorities of the FSOs. The research informed by this agenda will support power system operators in reliably and cost-effectively achieving very high penetrations of inverter-based resources (IBRs) on their power systems over the next decade. The results of the research will be shared with all system operators globally.

Pillar 1 activities are guided by the Research Agenda Group (RAG) under the CEOs of the Founding System Operators and will be conducted by researchers across the globe who choose to tackle these research questions. In addition to the RAG, Pillar 1 also includes a Research Advisory Committee (RAC), consisting of members from advanced system operators, energy companies, manufacturers, universities, national labs and consultants.

Focused Research Teams

To increase the impact of its activities, the RAG developed several focused research teams to provide fundamental underpinnings to more detailed research questions in the research agenda. These teams are made up of subject matter experts from the FSOs and leading researchers from the Core Team of the G-PST.

The Inverter-based Resources Research Team is investigating how the fundamental needs of the power system can be supplied by Inverter-Based Resources (IBRs) and where additional research will be needed to access these capabilities. In parallel, this team also addresses how the tools and models we currently use to study the power system will need to be updated (or superseded) in light of the grid’s changing nature with increasing IBRs.

The Resource Adequacy Research Team is investigating how the rise of variable, energy limited resources combined with severe weather events driven by climate change will require changes to planning practices to ensure low-cost reliable power systems of the future.

In addition to these research teams there is also an extensive Research Repository being developed. It details current and recent research projects from around the world that are well-aligned with the Inaugural Research Agenda. This repository can be used by funding and research institutions to ensure they are up-to-date with the latest research and not duplicating efforts. Well-aligned projects may also receive support from the FSOs in terms of input and demonstration opportunities.

Learn more about the RAC and how to get involved.

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Latest Accomplishments

1011, 2021

Enabling Power System Transformation Globally – A System Operator Research Agenda for Bulk Power System Issues

This article, originally published in the November/December 2021 issue of IEEE Power and Energy Magazine, outlines the G-PST Consortium’s research agenda, which intends to advance the operations and planning of power systems for the clean energy transition. The agenda seeks to include all possible advancements, from fundamental to applied research, driving solutions that are expected (but not assumed) to be globally applicable to all system operators. Explore the full article.

911, 2021

Accelerating Power System Transformation through Technical Innovation | COP26

Deep decarbonization of the power sector is one of the most important levers for tackling climate change and setting a credible path to reaching net-zero. However, there are many technical and operational challenges associated with operating a zero-carbon electricity grid, much of which will be powered by variable renewable energy. Overcoming these barriers and building new capabilities, both in developed and developing countries, will be critical in accelerating the transformation to a low emission, low cost, secure, and reliable power system. The G-PST Consortium and Accenture co-hosted this event outlining the role of technology, innovation, and ecosystem partnerships in overcoming these barriers.

Speakers:

  • Louise Anderson – Manager, WEF Electricity Industry
  • Marc Borrett – CEO, Reactive Technologies
  • Cesar Butron – CEO, COES Peru
  • Simon Eaves – CEO, Accenture UKI
  • Thomas Egebo – CEO, Energinet, Denmark
  • Katie Jereza – VP of Corporate Affairs, Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI)
  • Fintan Slye – Director, National Grid ESO, U.K.
  • Daniel Westerman – CEO, AEMO, Australia

Watch the recording.

411, 2021

Unlocking Grids to Decarbonize Power Systems Globally | COP26

As part of the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26), the G-PST Consortium hosted a session, at the U.S. Center, that brought together power sector leaders and several system operator CEOs to present on tangible results achieved through the G-PST Consortium since our launch in April 2021. Additionally, this session featured an announcement about a new G-PST Consortium initiative, supported by the United States Agency for International Development, focused on empowering women in power system transformation. We were honored to be joined by the following speakers:

  • Mark Foley – CEO, EirGrid Group, Ireland
  • Secretary Jennifer M. Granholm – Department of Energy, U.S.
  • Elliot Mainzer – CEO, California Independent System Operator, U.S.
  • Anne-Katrin Marten – Head of Operational Planning, 50Hertz Transmission, Germany
  • Lee McDonough – Director General for Net Zero, Strategy, and International, Department for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy, U.K.
  • Jonathan Pershing – Deputy Special Envoy for Climate, Department of State, U.S.
  • Sinthya Roesly – CFO, PLN, Indonesia Fintan Slye – Director, National Grid ESO, U.K.
  • Daniel Westerman – CEO, Australian Energy Market Operator, Australia

Please note: this recording was edited from its original version to smooth over technical issues.

Watch the recording.

111, 2021

COP26 Policy Brief: The Intersection of Resource Adequacy and Public Policy

This brief was prepared with substantial input from subject matter experts from several of the Global Power System Transformation Consortium’s founding system operators. Resource adequacy is a topic of great importance at this moment in time, and represents a potential short-term pitfall for ambitious clean energy targets globally. This brief was prepared in anticipation of COP26 to support the policy community by offering guidance on managing resource adequacy as the power system transforms.

Download Brief (PDF)

2010, 2021

Transforming the Grid: Personal Experiences

What happens when a country commits to a nationally determined contribution (NDC), but the country’s grid system operator is not confident it can meet those goals while maintaining grid system reliability? In this session, attendees heard from system operators who have said “yes” to this challenge and are now bending the limits of what was previously thought possible with high penetration and renewable energy grid operation. Attendees also heard about solutions these leading system operators are using to manage grid frequency and strength, how they achieved record-breaking, instantaneous renewable penetration in large grids, and conceptualized their outlook on what the next steps are to achieve grids that are reliably stable under 100% renewable energy conditions. System operators from countries at earlier stages of renewable energy integration shared their plans regarding what interventions they are taking to avoid locking in emissions from additional fossil fuel-based generators, and instead put them in a position to create high penetration renewable energy grids in the future. By using the lens of individual stories, the session humanizes technical topics and share the triumphs, setbacks, and excitement of one of the greatest technical endeavors of our times.

Speakers:

  • Jonathan Pershing – Office of the Special Envoy for Climate, U.S.
  • Luke Robinson – Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO), Australia
  • Veronika Henze – Bloomberg
  • Mark O’Malley – Energy Systems Integration Group
  • Stine Grenaa Jensen – Energinet, Denmark
  • Jon O’Sullivan – EirGrid, Ireland
  • Julia Matesovyan – Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), U.S.
  • Gav Hurford – Eskom, South Africa

Watch the recording.

909, 2021

G-PST/ESIG Webinar Series: Connect Faster: Improving Renewable Energy Integration With Modular Power Flow Control

Featured Speaker: Michael Walsh, Chief Commercial Officer, Smart Wires

Modular power flow control provides a uniquely effective approach to help renewable generation developers and asset owners address their most challenging transmission needs. The modern, power-electronics-based version of these devices, built upon decades of grid experience, helps balance network flows by pulling or pushing power through capacitive or inductive voltage injection. When new generation seeks grid interconnection, it routinely requires network upgrades to enable firm export of power. Under business-as-usual transmission planning strategies, these upgrades can be extensive because much of the grid was not designed for distributed, intermittent, renewable generation. Reconductors, substation refurbishments or new lines are all costly, traditional solutions that can take many years to complete due to permitting and other challenges. Yet significant latent capacity exists in most networks around the world, a recent study by the Brattle Group highlights how this technology can dramatically improve the scale of renewable generation integration in the Southwest Power Pool network. Modular power flow control has proven to help utilities plan and operate their grid to leverage this capacity, enabling new generation to be connected must faster and more cost-effectively – supporting regulatory targets while benefiting ratepayers and developers alike. In a recent deployment with National Grid Electric Transmission in the UK, modular power flow control enabled 1.5 GW of renewable generation to access the London metro area by increasing utilization of the existing transmission capacity. Solutions like this one allow rapid deployment scaling, in line with phased generation connection, further reducing upfront capital burden on developers. These standard offerings can generally be installed in 1 year or less, alleviating thermal overload-induced congestion to improve the financial feasibility of previously uneconomic renewable energy projects.

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