A Special Issue on Operations

By Amir Kalantari

In February 1998, Auckland, New Zealand, experienced one of the most severe blackouts in the entire 20th century. A series of four power failures left the city’s most important business district in the dark for nearly five weeks. The investigation that followed singled out the insufficient appreciation of soil conditions as one of the primary causes of this crisis. Specifically, it has been pointed out that “the actual backfill soil resistivities (along the cable route) exceeded by up to 500% the values specified by the cable manufacturer.” The soil thermal resistivity is a critical factor in rating power cables. Hence, one can easily imagine the sheer scale of threat when cables are operated on the assumption that the design values hold true.

By David Schoenwald

Lightly damped electromechanical oscillations are a source of concern in the Western Interconnection (WI). There are two primary motivations to increase damping of inter-area oscillations. First, if damping is insufficient, oscillations may lead to system-wide tripping events, and in turn to a series of cascading outages. The 1996 system break-up across the west coast of North America can be in part attributed to undamped oscillations. Avoiding these large-scale power outages provides a significant financial incentive in damping inter-area oscillations. Second, power transfer through long transmission corridors in western North America is often constrained due to stability concerns and limited by poorly damped electromechanical oscillations. Thus, additional damping may increase the power transfer capacity. Recent development in reliable real-time wide-area measurement systems (WAMS) based on phasor measurement units (PMUs) has enabled the potential for large-scale damping control approaches, in order to stabilize critical oscillation modes. A recent research project has focused on the development of a relevant prototype feedback modulation controller for the Pacific DC Intertie (PDCI). The damping controller utilizes real-time wide-area PMU signals to form a power command to modulate the real power on the PDCI. Recent results demonstrate desirable performance and improved modal damping, consistent with previous modeling and simulation studies.

By Michael Emmanuel, Ramesh Rayudu, Ian Welch

The modern grid is expected to have the capacity to adequately host and integrate all types and sizes of electric power generation sources and storage systems in a plug-and-play fashion. Leveraging on robust deployments of distributed energy resources (DERs) such as solar photovoltaic and wind systems as modern grid solutions has become a major component of smart grid initiatives.

By Ian Madley, David Healey, Zhong Fan

Keele University in the UK is developing the Smart Energy Network Demonstrator (SEND) as a demonstrator facility for smart energy research, development and innovation (RD&I). SEND will enable businesses to develop, test and evaluate new energy technologies and services, in an actual laboratory setting. This program will collaborate with local companies and universities on joint RD&I, to underpin the commercialisation of new products and services for global smart energy markets. Through SEND the University is committed to a target of reducing the campus carbon footprint by 30% (4,096 tonnes of CO2e) by 2021.


IEEE Smart Grid Newsletter Editors

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Dr. Ebrahim Vaahedi
Chair, IEEE Smart Grid Newsletter

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Panayiotis (Panos) Moutis
Managing Editor
IEEE Smart Grid Newsletter

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