Interconnected - Highly Utilized Grid

Interconnected- Highly Utilized Grid
September 29-30, 2016
Washington, D.C. 

ARPA-E held a workshop on the "Interconnected - Highly Utilized Grid” on September 29-30, 2016 in Bethesda, Maryland. The workshop convened leading experts in power systems, modeling, data analytics, and control systems to identify potential paths for disruptive technologies aimed at large scale deployment of renewables and distributed energy resources (DERs). The discussion focused on the challenge and promise of maximally utilizing the existing grid, while accounting for upcoming changes in Transmission and Distribution structures, as well as generation and load patterns.

ARPA-E is interested in technologies that enable increased renewables penetration while maintaining and possibly increasing grid reliability. The hope is to achieve these goals even with minimal investment in new transmission and distribution power lines. The overall goal is to push the current estimates of potential to reliably incorporate up to 30% of renewables into US grid up to the much more ambitious goal of at least 50% of renewables.

Specifically, the workshop explored enabling the large scale deployment of renewables and DERs using mostly soft approaches, rather than large scale infrastructure development. These two soft options can be thought of as optimizing the grid’s “backbone” and the grid’s “edge”.

  “Backbone”: Can we optimize transmission capacity and effectively dispatch renewables over long distances and across balancing areas to better leverage spatio-temporal diversity in variable generation and loads?
  “Edge”: Can better integration of Transmission and Distribution enable greater utilization of DERs and renewables?

Workshop participants will explore possible approaches to develop and incorporate transformative planning and operational capabilities into all levels of the power system to address these two challenges. The desired Workshop outcome is to identify potential leapfrog advancements in planning and operational tools and methods required to make increased levels of renewables penetration possible, as well as developing metrics that will define a successful research program.

Areas of interest and targeted outcomes include:

•  Potential approaches to more efficient use of existing grid interconnections to increase long distance utilization of renewables and DERs;
  Identification of transmission planning and operational tools needed to exploit spatio-temporal differences in load and supply;
  Identification of advanced technologies for off-line and on-line prediction and correlation of wind/solar generation & consumer demand patterns across the regions;
  Necessary transmission improvements enabling long distance utilization of renewables and DERs;
  Identifications of technologies needed to effectively and reliably integrate Transmission & Distribution to enable greater utilization of DERs and DG;
  Innovative approaches to coordinated management of bulk generation, DERs, flexible loads, and storage assets with multiple roles, and revenue streams
  Identification of innovative monitoring and advisory systems to enhance efficiency of the system operation;
  Identification of other innovative technologies that meet the performance objectives

DAY 1: Thursday, September 29

9:00 AM – 9:10 AM Welcome and Opening Remarks
Dr. Eric Rohlfing, Deputy Director for Technology, ARPA-E

9:10 AM – 9:30 AM Workshop Background & Objectives
Dr. Sonja Glavaski, Program Director, ARPA-E

9:30 AM – 9:50 AM Guest speaker  
Dr. Jovan Bebic, GE

9:50 AM – 10:10 AM Guest speaker  
Dr. Paul Denholm, NREL

10:40 AM – 11:00 AM Guest speaker  
Dale Osborn, MISO 

11:00 AM – 11:20 AM Guest speaker 
Dr. Santiago Grijalva, Georgia Institute of Technology

11:20 AM – 11:30 AM Breakout Sessions Overview
Dr. Sonja Glavaski, ARPA-E

12:30 PM – 2:30 PM Breakout Session: Optimizing Grid “Backbone”

3:00 PM – 4:30 PM Breakout Session: Business Models & Markets

4:30 PM – 5:00 PM Day 1 Wrap-Up & Plans for Next Day’s Sessions
Dr. Sonja Glavaski, ARPA-E

DAY 2: Friday, September 30 

9:00 AM – 9:15 AM Day 2 Welcome & Recap of Previous Day
Dr. Sonja Glavaski, ARPA-E

9:15 AM – 9:35 AM Guest speaker 
Robert Sherick, Southern California Edison

9:35 AM – 9:55 AM Guest speaker  
Ryan Hanley, Solar City

9:55 AM – 10:10 AM Breakout Session Overview
Dr. Sonja Glavaski, ARPA-E

10:30 AM – 12:30 PM Breakout Session: Optimizing Grid “Edge”
Breakout Rooms: Cabinet/Judiciary, Diplomat/Ambassador, Congressional, Old Georgetown

1:00 PM – 2:00 PM Wrap-up Discussion and Closing Remarks 
Dr. Sonja Glavaski, ARPA-E