Control systems play an ever-increasing role in critical infrastructure performance and protection. But today’s designs fall far short of being the widely imagined highly autonomous and flexible systems that are supposed to be at the heart of efficient, effective and resilient critical infrastructure. A multi-agent philosophy has been proposed as a notional architecture to decompose these control system dynamics and interdependencies in a smarter grid.
We envision a drastically different electric grid than what exists today, one with efficient markets, idealized grid-pervasive demand-response, rapid real-time end-point control, smart peripheries and fully coordinated networks of microgrids, synergistic electrified transportation, green and automated distribution systems and efficient AC-DC transmission systems. That kind of grid will effectively and securely meet demands of a pervasively digital society in the face of extreme events and climate change while ensuring a high quality of life and fueling economic growth.
Inspired by Six Sigma improvement processes and the LEED green building standards, the Perfect Power Institute has developed PEER, a methodology for assessing performance, designing improvements and making the financial case for investment in electric power sustainability. The program helps industry professionals produce higher levels of performance, including grids that are safer, better for the environment, more robust and more efficient.
Some of the more progressive electric cooperatives in the United States are helping their consumers overcome barriers to residential installation of photovoltaic arrays by building solar gardens, also known as community solar projects. Examples are found not just in the sunny Southwest but also in chilly and sometimes sun-starved upper northern states, as well.