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Advanced Bulk Power System Optimization Technologies Workshop

ARPA-E  held a public workshop – “Advanced Bulk Power System Optimization Technologies” from November 13-14, 2014 in Arlington, VA.

Tremendous recent advances in Electric Power Engineering, Optimization and Applied Mathematics, and High Performance Computing offer many new opportunities to dramatically improve the operation of electric transmission systems. These technologies also promise to play an important role in the cost-effective integration of variable renewable energy sources. Many new power system optimization methodologies have been proposed in recent years, including new approaches to solving optimal power flow and unit commitment problems.  However, thus far, many of the proposed advances lack validation on realistic, large scale test datasets and their operational limits are poorly understood. These limitations are slowing adoption by industry. 

This workshop discussed the challenges and opportunities associated with development of new power system optimization tools in the context of cost-effectively facilitating the integration of high penetrations of renewable generation. ARPA-E seeks to explore future R&D pathways for the development and validation of disruptive grid optimization technologies that can significantly reduce operational costs, improve the energy efficiency, and facilitate the integration of high penetrations of renewables. In this workshop, ARPA-E sought to bring together experts in the Electric Power Engineering, Optimization and Applied Mathematics, and High Performance Computing from industry, academia, and government with diverse perspectives. 

The primary objectives of the workshop were to:

  • Identify the most challenging technological barriers to developing, validating, and deploying grid optimization technologies at scale.
  • Explore opportunities and mechanism for validating the promise of new optimization technologies while also satisfying real-world engineering constraints and limitations.
  • Develop a realistic set of quantifiable metrics for evaluating progress towards these goals and assessing R&D success.

The meeting's output will help direct the actions of ARPA-E towards the most promising and appropriate high risk, high return R&D funding opportunities and management strategies.

Presentations from the workshop are provided below.

Thursday, Nov. 13th – Friday, Nov. 14th

Day 1: Introductions


Session Title

Eric Rohlfing, ARPA-E

ARPA-E Welcome & Opening Remarks

Day 1: Morning Presentations

Tim Heidel, ARPA-E

ARPA-E Workshop Introduction & Motivation

David Sun, Alstom

Deploying Optimization Applications in  Power Grid Operation

Yonghong Chen, MISO

Challenges and Opportunities for Applying Advanced Optimization Techniques to Large Scale Electricity Market Systems – MISO’s Perception

Dick O’Neill, FERC

Tournaments to Advance Knowledge and Performance of the ACOPF

Pablo Ruiz, Brattle Group

Topology Control Algorithms (TCA) Project Experience

Ed Rothberg, Gurobi

Recent Advances in Mixed-Integer Programming Solvers

Hans Mittelmann, ASU

Evaluation of Optimization Software, including in Competitions

Robin Podmore, IncSys

Cognitive Task Analysis (CTA) as a foundation for AC Power Flow Requirements

Day 1: Afternoon Session


Breakout Session #1: The Most Impactful Application…


Breakout Session #2: So You Want to Run a Competition?

Day 2: Morning Session


Breakout Session #3: Show Me the Data

This event was closed to the media.