Thoughts from 35,000 Feet: Three things needed for a reliable grid.Posted to Smart Grid Reliability Alliance in the Grid Professionals Group
- Jul 5, 2021 1:35 pm GMT
I've just recently read Doug Houseman's post on here about his thoughts on the future of the grid. Doug is a legend and he has me thinking. As we get back to travel, it seems my best thinking is done in the rarified air of a recent flight at 35, 000 feet.
1. Reliability of an asset is based on the ability of that asset to perform its designed function for the period it was designed, without unplanned failure. The reliability of a system is the same, but with the caveat that any asset in the system can be the weakest link in that system. The reliability of the electrical grid (a system) is far too dependent on aged assets that have far outlived their useful life.
2. Our system is flawed in that the design of the system did not allow for shared access across the whole system. The SEAMS study points that out all too clearly and the recent ERCOT "Frozen" episode pointed that out.
3. The system, or grid, will require a whole new way of generating (DER), function use (EV) and distributing (micro-grids, storage, DR, and more). New assets are being installed, particularly monitoring and controls assets, which are solid state assets, and these will change the system.
We must address all of these if we are to have a "reliable system": one which can be easily restored after the the growing climate change impacts of fire, storms and quakes. Complex systems need complex solutions and unless we use the billions of dollars we will be pouring into the infrastructure of the grid, wisely and from an overall systems approach, we will be wasting these resources.
Everyone in this space, needs to consider working collaboratively toward a common goal...a reliable and resilient grid.
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