Unlike conventional power generation, renewable energy and energy management technologies may be classified as “Variable Energy Resources” because of their intermittency. Recently, regulators and electric utilities recognize that this variable nature puts a stress on many aspects of the electrical power grid. In such a scenario, conservative central planners would typically invest in additional generation, transmission, and distribution capacity – thereby adding to the “real cost” of renewable energy and energy management technologies. Instead, the true success of renewable energy and energy management technologies depends on the robust dynamic control and operation of the electrical power grid at all of its respective layers.
This research project seeks to simulate the operation and control of the electrical power grid so as to understand its reliability at increasing levels of penetration of variable energy resources. In order to do so, a multi-level simulation platform is being developed.