The Transmission Reliability Program was established to support collaboration between the national labs, the electricity industry, and DOE to develop technologies that keep the nation’s electric grid resilient and secure, while cutting electricity bills and facilitating the integration of renewable energy. Through efforts like these, DOE is ensuring the electric grid can consistently meet the needs of all communities, while creating jobs and combating climate change. Projects in this program are bridging the gap between engineering prototypes and user ready tools, creating new methods for generating valuable information from system data, and ensuring grid reliability in the face of new system challenges. The Program works to incentivize more efficient use of existing infrastructure, while continuing to create the next generation of these critical grid components to proactively mitigate and avoid reliability events and blackouts.

On May 19th and May 20th the Program hosted a Transmission Innovation Symposium: Modernizing the U.S. Power Grid to discuss the future course of R&D for OE’s transmission research and development programs.

The Transmission Research Program focuses on four specific areas:

Advanced Applications Research and Development–Meeting the evolving context to support resilience and reliability while facilitating the integration of renewable energy and decarbonization.

Data Development for Transmission Systems - Addressing barriers to utilization of transmission system data through data management, processing, and ML/AI.

Human Factors, Visualization, and Tool Modernization for Grid Ops – Modernizing transmission system tools through human factors and cognitive science research for workforce training and development, control room application improvements, and robust decision making.

Transmission Measurement & Standards- Examining current and new ways of measurement and associated standards that address fundamental assumptions that no longer meet the evolving system context.

ADVANCED APPLICATION DEVELOPMENT

The Advanced Application Development program area works to improve transmission system visibility and controllability to ensure reliability and resilience in the face of new system challenges.

The program area focuses on developing tools that help system operators and planners understand and adapt to changes in supply due to:

  • Increased renewable energy, storage, and DER aggregation
  • Impacts of decarbonization on infrastructure (transmission planning needs, operations, and pipeline utilization)
  • Critical infrastructure interdependencies

The program area’s main activities are:

  • Developing wide-area situational awareness tools
  • Creating new analytic methods to mitigate reliability challenges related to natural gas and electricity interdependency
  • Developing best-use applications and control schemes for transmission system technologies, like dynamic line rating.

Data Development for Transmission Systems

The Data Development for Transmission Systems program area leverages the advancements in sensors and removes barriers that utilities might face when accessing those data sources to get the full value from new sensors.

Program area goals are to develop and advance:

  • Use of new sensors and high fidelity telemetry to advance incident forensics
  • Proactively adapting controls to minimize risk of blackouts and load-shedding events
  • Integrating inverter-based resources (IBR), storage, and synthetic inertia
  • Understanding of how the system is evolving to support transmission system changes and tools for operators

The program area’s main activities are:

  • Advancing data analytics to be capable of fully capturing new system dynamics from the integration of renewable energy and inverter-based technologies
  • Developing applications and guides for the best use of different data sources
  • Building partnerships for data sharing to facilitate wide area situational awareness
  • Developing research datasets and data platforms that reduce the burden data requests can have on utilities
  • Facilitating advanced tool development using real world data

Human Factors, Visualization, and Tool Modernization for Grid Ops

The Human Factors, Visualization, and Tool Modernization for Grid Ops program area leverages the work of other DOE programs that create engineering prototype tools, fundamental analytical methods, and sensor technologies to help transition these efforts into practice by bridging the gap between engineering prototypes and user ready tools.

The goals of the program area are to use human factors and cognitive science research to:

  • Facilitate optimal decision making
  • Enable alarming and cueing optimization across multiple data sets and dashboards
  • Enhance visualization and display development
  • Increase workforce management and training

The program’s main activities are:

  • Outlining decision processes and developing training simulators to support tool developers when making control room decisions and developing workforce
  • Creating advanced control room software and visualizations that ease operator burden, and encourages them to overcome new operating challenges
  • Leverage national lab partnerships to increase real-world user testing and feedback collection from control room engineers

Transmission Measurement & Standards

The Transmissions Measurement & Standards program area works to characterize the power system to inform data, model, and tool development. The program area aims to get the full value of new sensors and data sources by looking at the standards for data labeling, archiving, and interoperability.

Program area goals are to:

  • Reduce costs associated with data access and data sharing
  • Improve compatibility of data with new artificial intelligence and machine learning tools.

The program’s main activities are:

  • Examining methods of generation and formatting at the data source to find opportunities to better align those methods with the evolving end uses in artificial intelligence and machine learning applications
  • Developing metrics to define and classify uncertainties, derive real-time error estimates, and increase accuracy
  • Developing data standards to facilitate interoperability and reduce prohibitive costs associated data aggregation, processing, and quality control

RELATED LINKS

Transmission Innovation Symposium: Modernizing the U.S. Power Grid
Dynamical Modeling, Estimation, and Optimal Control of Electrical Grid Natural-Gas Transmission Systems
Electricity Infrastructure Operations Center (EIOC)
North American Synchrophasor Initiative (NASPI)
Advancing Visibility of Grid Operations to Improve Reliability
North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC)
Consortium for Electric Reliability Technology Solutions (CERTS)
Transmission Reliability Peer Reviews