Georgia Tech Research Corporation is developing a decentralized, autonomous, internet-like control architecture and control software system for the electric power grid. Georgia Tech's new architecture is based on the emerging concept of electricity prosumers—economically motivated actors that can produce, consume, or store electricity. Under Georgia Tech's architecture, all of the actors in an energy system are empowered to offer associated energy services based on their capabilities. The actors achieve their sustainability, efficiency, reliability, and economic objectives, while contributing to system-wide reliability and efficiency goals. This is in marked contrast to the current one-way, centralized control paradigm.
If successful, Georgia Tech's distributed control architecture would help integrate significantly more renewable energy into the grid.
A more efficient, reliable grid would be more resilient to potential disruptions from failure, natural disasters, or attack.
Enabling increased use of wind and solar power would result in a substantial decrease in carbon dioxide emissions in the U.S.—40% of which are produced by electricity generation.
This technology will enable more renewable generation to enter the market and meet growing demand. It will also enable consumers to receive payment for the electricity they generate.