Is Diversity the Key to Grid Stabilization?
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- Apr 6, 2021 6:41 am GMTApr 6, 2021 6:32 am GMT
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I’ve read several analogies about the grid, it’s many problems and how those problems should be addressed. A recent Forbes article explained, ’Our grid was designed similarly to submarines – with separate compartments that can be isolated such that damage to one compartment does not automatically lead to the entire vessel sinking.’ Northwestern University physicist Adilson Motter used a choir to describe the need for a synchronized frequency to transmit energy. ”It's a little bit like a choir without a conductor. The generators have to listen to others and speak in sync. They react and respond to each other's frequencies.” There's no shortage of colorful expressions but more than words will be required. Recent events have confirmed the need to revamp our approach and rebuild the grid. Currently, electricity is supplied by three separate grids in the U.S. The Eastern interconnection, the Western interconnection and the Texas interconnection, interlinked by direct-current power lines; the later, still reeling from February’s grid failures. Despite outages, these grids have a common goal. Resilience and reliability. How can this be achieved with electricity supply and demand imbalances, cascading outages and the impedance of compartmentalization? The answer: Diversity.