Wisconsin Energy Institute

Professor Grabriela Hug: Towards a Self-Managing and Sustainable Power Grid Enabled by Distributed Decision

Monday, March 10, 2014 - 4:00pm to 5:00pm

Traditionally, electric power is generated in bulk power plants and transmitted over a power grid with

limited control capabilities to supply inflexible loads. In the future, the electric power system will consist

of highly distributed generation and storage resources supplying the demand of consumers who are

actively engaged in the demand/supply balancing process. Furthermore, with the increased deployment of

devices based on power electronics, the power grid becomes more flexible and capable of adjusting to the

increasingly varying needs of supply and demand by influencing the paths on which the electric power

flows. Given this decentralization of the infrastructure, it is not only a logical but also a necessary step to

design a control structure capable of distributed decision making to either replace or enhance the current

highly centralized control structure. Hence, in this talk, computational methods will be presented which

enable the realization of such a distributed control paradigm. Proof of concepts will be given for

applications such as power flow control and economic dispatch. The long term goal of this work is to

provide the methods and tools which ensure a reliable and efficient operation of the future electric power

system with high penetrations of variable renewable generation.