Deploying E3’s RESERVE Tool to Enable Advanced Operation of Clean Grids

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San Francisco, California
Project Term:
09/03/2020 - 01/02/2022

Critical Need:

The grid relies on conventional bulk power plants to provide the flexibility to operate power systems reliably. These assets can guarantee available capacity except in rare events. The existing risk management strategy protects against those rare events and aligns well with conventional technologies. New risk management strategies are needed due to the shift in grid resources: intermittent renewable resources, distributed energy resources, and storage technologies. Management systems must be able to leverage all capabilities of these new technologies to maintain an economical and reliable grid. PERFORM projects aim to address that need by developing methods to quantify and manage risk at the asset and system levels for the grid.

Project Innovation + Advantages:

E3 will develop the RESERVE modeling tool, which can be used by system operators to dynamically calculate the need for operating reserves to mitigate system-wide risks from variability and forecast errors. This partnership aims to make the tool publicly available to enable more efficient grid operations, reducing costs and enhancing the use of large-scale renewable electricity resources, distributed energy resources, and conventional power generation technologies. RESERVE will use machine learning to better predict load, wind, and solar energy production and resulting ancillary services needed to maintain real-time balance of supply and demand due to the forecasted uncertainty of renewable energy production. This tool will also assess the amount of variable energy resource capacity that can provide ancillary services to support grid reliability.

Potential Impact:

PERFORM projects will design methods and risk scores to clearly communicate the physical delivery risk of an energy asset’s offer and design grid management systems that organically capture uncertainty. These management systems will evaluate and hedge the system risk position to meet or exceed a baseline system risk index. This pursuit will achieve the following area impacts:


Optimal utilization of renewable and clean resources for all grid services improves grid reliability, reduces energy imports, and provides a sustainable path to energy independence.


When low- or zero-emission assets provide all grid products and services, grid operations are no longer reliant on legacy, carbon-heavy centralized generation assets, which enables the grid to absorb more clean resources.


Innovation in grid management will reduce consumer costs, increase the value of emerging technologies, and help achieve a clean and sustainable electric power sector. Merging risk techniques in power systems with those from finance and actuarial science enables further economic growth and redefines the role of electric power sector entities.