Even as the Electric Utility industry grapples with applications and ramifications of smart grids, the need to advance the state-of-the-art in smart grids is increasingly recognized by scientists, engineers, practitioners and policy makers, as the critical mechanism to improve the efficiency and efficacy of producing and using electricity in our homes, businesses, and public institutions. Synergistically combining communications, monitoring, computational intelligence, and control smart grid technologies can provide stable optimal operational efficiency and energy delivery and autonomous response to abnormal or disruptive events. We seek sustainable solutions that reduce the impacts on climate change through renewables, conservation, electrification of transportation, affordable energy, enhanced reliability, security and transparency. It is not clear how smart grids will deliver these. Significant changes in the Electric Utility business such as restructuring and the emergence of energy markets, increased ability to control demand, electric vehicles and storage, all point towards both a need and capability to migrate from a power system to an ‘energy system’.
The energy delivery paradigm introduces the concept of a producer providing electrical energy in blocks to a system at a negotiated cost and power bounds, leaving the issue of balancing instantaneous power to the customer, who has overall control on its power demand, generation and storage requirements. The paradigm has the potential to provide reliability and security, customer-driven management, cost and resource optimization, and economic growth through new capital streams.
This energy project will (a) develop the fundamental formulation for energy delivery as an operational optimization problem, (b) develop effective solutions in collaboration with other projects, and (c) evaluate, validate and demonstrate the concepts through simulation studies and through implementation.