In July, the GridWise Alliance focused on the digital grid. In the electric power sector, digitalization refers to assets and devices not only connected to the grid and comprising it, but the collection and processing of the resulting data streams. Indeed, the electric grid is becoming increasingly digitized and interconnected. The installation of new solar and other DERs, the purchase of electric vehicles, and the conversion of building thermal systems to electricity introduce additional data complexity and potential value streams.
Along with electrons, vast amounts of data flow across the transmission and distribution systems between consumers, generators, and grid operators. Turning data into information for use in real-time grid management and long-term planning is key to the digital transformation of the electric grid and is essential to achieving the grid of the future. Digitalization is highlighted as a principle to guide grid modernization through 2030 in the GridWise Alliance’s report on the future grid. Interviews on the subject further called out the need for thinking about the whole system, leveraging smart grid technologies, and harnessing the power of data.
This month’s Policy Council meeting featured an active discussion on the digital grid and revolved around issues of data access and privacy. Speakers Steve Harper from Intel, Susan Mora-Schrader from Exelon, and Creighton Oyler and Wendy Lohkamp from Oracle led the discussion with their perspectives on the topic. The conversation was rich with insights pertaining to regulatory challenges, customer privacy considerations, data access questions, and more. Watch the Council meeting recording here.
GridWise members are deeply invested in the digitalization space. Check out our website for some of the resources members provided in response to our call for content this month.
EPRI shared a recent report exploring the fourth wave of energy efficiency, which centers around system efficiency resulting from the increased digitization of society, DER deployment, and the changing supply and demand mix. IBM’s webpage explains digital twins and why they may be useful, noting that they use “real-world data, simulation or machine learning models, combined with data analysis, to enable understanding, learning, and reasoning.” Also check out Duke Energy and NYPA’s short informational videos on the smart grid and digitization for 2030, respectively.
In addition to sharing analysis of digitalization and trends, our members are deeply involved in developing and directly implementing digital solutions. Borsetta is developing AI-powered software to model and simulate energy microgrids, and creates insights into a future distributed virtual energy grid. As illustrated in Figure 2, the digital energy grid connects physical assets and infrastructure in a virtual realm to support decision making.
LineVision’s transmission line monitoring technology assists with situational awareness, increased capacity potential, and asset health monitoring (Figure 3). They have several active use cases where their sensor technology collects real-time data on overhead power lines to support grid operation.
If you have materials (reports, press releases, videos, etc.) that you would like us to showcase on our website, it’s not too late to forward them. Additionally, start thinking about next month’s theme, Electrified Buildings as Grid Assets.
We will be asking for content forour website and for your ideas for upcoming Policy and Technology Council meetings. All of this helps us share knowledge of what our members are doing with federal and state policymakers and other stakeholders. Thanks for helping us tell your stories!