Resilience in Renewable Energy Integration

By Jake Gentle, Katya LeBlanc and Tim McJunkin

Idaho National Laboratory

Connecting social science and STEM to advanced technologies hasn’t always been easy, but resilient controls embody various multidisciplinary efforts to bridge the gap. An increased push has been made to gain the acceptance of stakeholders for the incorporation of data enabled by a new advanced technology at the lab. INL researchers have developed a method called Dynamic Line Ratings (DLR), which incorporates real-time weather data with computational fluid dynamics to produce an economically viable estimation of the limiting thermal line ratings on individual spans of transmission lines. The DOE Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Wind and Water Technology Program Office (WWTPO) supports the optimal integration of wind energy using existing transmission assets.

DLR joins the plethora of new information feeds into the control centers of electric utilities in cur­rent smart grid sensor networks. To obtain stakeholder acceptance and ultimately operator utiliza­tion, the information must reach confidence thresholds in fidelity of applied algorithms, security of data communications and the effective integration into operating control center displays. The INL weather-based method establish­es the first leg through the use of IEEE accepted standards and on­site validation of wind predictive models. These pilot studies were supported by transmission asset owners, Idaho Power Company and AltaLink, LLC, in Alberta, Canada.

Second, in partnership with the stakeholders, baseline security support encouraging integrity of the data communi­cation must be created. This baseline may potentially be used as grounds for future research and standards development. Un­derstanding the path of the data to the SCADA systems and data centers is an important aspect of critical infrastructure data communication support tools.

The third and final critical leg is currently supported through the inclusion of human factors into the DOE WWTPO project on dynamic line rating. This research collaboration will provide the science needed to support the effective use of current and future ‘smart’ critical infrastructure. It will also provide the solid footing needed to make the decisions that will optimize limited resources without putting capital intensive assets in peril of outages or damage. Due diligence to these three supporting legs provides resilience to the technology platform.

Interested in learning more? Check out Resilience Week coming September 18-22 in Wilmington, DE.