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Here’s Looking at You, Grid: Monthly Digest of the Top Content Submitted to the Grid Professionals Group in Energy Central- August 28, 2020

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Energy Analyst Chester Energy and Policy

Official Energy Central Community Manager of Generation and Energy Management Networks. Matt is an energy analyst in Orlando FL (by way of Washington DC) working as an independent energy...

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The state of the grid continues to remain a focus for people across utilities and governments, and with an eye towards stimulus spending to pull the country out of the economic slump caused by COVID the entire grid system is getting a keen look. Modernizing the grid, making it smarter, repairing the aging parts of it, and even re-evaluating the markets that drive power use across the grid all appear to be on the table.

The Energy Central community has been abuzz with these ideas and more in recent weeks, which you’ll see represented in the most important content that I’ve highlighted below in this month’s digest for the Grid Professionals Group.

Enjoy!

Matt Chester

Community Manager

 

PS: Energy Central is currently collecting submissions for our next Special Issue on the State of Utility Digitalization, which includes modernizing the grid. If you would like to share what your utility has been up to or other potential topics that could be well suited for this issue, see the Call for Articles for more instructions.

 

Convergence: The Future for the Digitally Enabled Microgrid

Link to original article: https://energycentral.com/c/gr/convergence-future-digitally-enabled-microgrid

With some exceptions, the main functioning of the power grid has remained more or less the same for decades, with the utility industry taking a ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ approach. But in this article by Jim Allen of Capula, we see that failing to innovate is leaving a lot of possibilities on the table regarding digital grid technology, microgrid setups, and more. This shift towards the future of grids is well positioned to benefit utility companies and their customers alike, so all stakeholders should be looking towards these ideas with a certain degree of excitement.

 

Next-Gen Grid Operations Bring New OT Security Concerns

Link to original article: https://energycentral.com/c/gr/next-gen-grid-operations-bring-new-ot-security-concerns

While those possibilities of a newer, smarter, and more digital grid are intoxicating and attractive, the transition to bring that future to today must also be done deliberately and thoughtfully. In particular, Michael Rothschild of Tenable points out in this article the suite of security concerns that come with the new type of grid we’re seeing. While those concerns can be addressed and cybersecurity solutions are out there, security must not be taken for granted as the grid turns into our Next-Gen grid. To see Michael’s keen insights on this topic, I recommend reading the full article.

 

Are the California Blackouts a Sign of Things to Come?

Link to original article: https://energycentral.com/c/gr/are-california-blackouts-sign-things-come

Over the past few weeks, one of the dominant grid-related stories came out of California where record-setting heat waves, unexpected plant closures, and other issues led to the state experiencing rolling blackouts. Making power unavailable to certain portions of the grid to ensure reliability for the rest is close to a worst case scenario for grid operators, so investigating how and why this was required to happen is imperative. In this article, David Gaier assesses whether those problems in the Golden State are a sign of issues to come for Californians and others across the country. While it was a problem that it happened, the industry can and must learn from it to do better next time.

Gains and Losses – Reviewing Energy Policies in Kenya

Link to original article: https://energycentral.com/c/gr/gains-and-losses-reviewing-energy-policies-kenya

Finally, it’s always important to get a global view of energy industry topics and assess where lessons learned can be applicable domestically as well. As such, I was grateful that Lewis Waswa of the Centre for Renewable & Sustainable Energy Studies provided the Energy Central community with this peak into the current situation of energy policy in Kenya and how those public policy mechanisms are looking to ensure reliable, affordable, and clean power across the African nation.

 

This wraps up another edition of ‘Here’s Looking at You, Grid.’ Check back in this spot in four weeks to see what submissions have captured the attention of our community. And if you think there are stories I’m missing—let me know in the comments, or better yet submit an article on those stories so it can be included in the next issue.

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