The transmission and distribution (T&D) grid, in particular, is experiencing notable changes because of the proliferation of distributed energy resources (DERs), the implementation of the smart grid concept and the realization of the electric power system as a key component of greater constructs.
FREMONT, CA: The growth of distributed energy resources (DERs), the adoption of the smart grid idea, and the recognition of the electric power system as a significant component of larger structures have all had a significant impact on the transmission and distribution (T&D) grid, in particular. The latter involves the birth and growing interest in the idea of smart cities, as well as the complex interactions between electric power grids and other crucial infrastructures like water, gas, and telecommunications systems. Investments in essential T&D infrastructures and the adoption of cutting-edge and emerging technologies have been motivated by regulatory requirements and financial incentives to solve issues and societal concerns related to these features. The enhancement of grid resilience and the incorporation of renewable power are among the issues; societal considerations include enhancing the livability, employability, and sustainability of cities. To overcome these obstacles and seize the related opportunities, the utility and grid of the future need to find solutions.
Grid resiliency has recently drawn a lot of attention due to the economic effects of weather-related outages, particularly those brought on by extreme weather disasters like Superstorm Sandy. The average yearly cost of power disruptions brought on by severe weather is estimated to be between USD 18 billion and USD 33 billion. Grid resiliency includes factors including labour availability, T&D reliability, grid hardening, ageing infrastructures, physical security, and cybersecurity. In a digital economy, grid dependability is essential for maintaining efficiency and competitiveness. These conclusions are instructive and point out a gap that has to be filled, even though this comparison should also take into consideration significant elements and fundamental causes such as electricity pricing, which also reflect end consumers' willingness to pay for a particular reliability level.
Similar to this, recent incidents involving utility facilities, such as the attack on the Metcalf substation by Pacific Gas and Electric, have emphasised the significance of safeguarding the physical security of the electric system. In a similar vein, there has been a lot of discussion over how to complement these expenditures with proper cybersecurity activities due to the broad and quickly expanding deployment of intelligent electronic devices to enhance T&D grid visibility and awareness. Renewable energy sources that aren't hydro are anticipated to increase by 3.2 per cent yearly. Up until 2040, solar energy is anticipated to expand by 7.5 per cent yearly. Therefore, it is anticipated that a combination of infrastructure and technology measures will be used to address the need to integrate increasing volumes of variable renewable power. For instance, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Order 1000 abolished the monopoly status or right of first refusal for establishing transmission unless required by states on the infrastructure side. It is anticipated that this will result in more transmission development.
The smart grid idea is being consolidated, phasor measuring units are being used to perform wide-area monitoring, protection, automation, and control, and operations and information technologies (OT/IT) are combined. To increase system resilience and facilitate the integration of distributed generation (DG) and plug-in electric vehicles, this also includes the deployment of advanced metering infrastructures (AMI) and advanced distribution management systems (ADMS), the emergence of smart inverters, and the application of distributed energy storage and microgrids.