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Siemens gives an IEEE PES Webinar on Microgrid Strategic Planning

As we have discussed many times, Smart Power Grids is one of the four essential research themes at the LIINES.  Our work generally advocates the concept of power grid enterprise control and a number of blogposts have been devoted to the topic.   One novel aspect of this work is the use of microgrids which may coordinate their own renewable energy but also have the potential to island themselves from the rest of the grid.  Microgrids — as the name suggests —  are relatively small and so their reliable operation requires careful attention to its design & planning.  In a sense, each generation, load, line and bus must be carefully considered.  

To that effect, we thought we’d share Siemens’ take on the subject.  Their recent IEEE PES Webinar on Microgrid Strategic Planning has recently been put up on youtube.


Full text of our smart power grid reference papers may be found on the LIINES publication page: http://amfarid.scripts.mit.edu


LIINES Websitehttp://amfarid.scripts.mit.edu

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Coordination & Control of Microgrids: A Multi-Agent Platform for Resilient Operation

This week, Dr. Sergio Rivera has presented his recent work on the multi-agent system coordination and control of microgrids for resilient operation at the 2013 Energypath Conference.  This work which was co-developed between the Laboratory for Intelligent Integrated Networks of Engineering Systems and the MIT Mechanical Engineering Mechatronics Research Laboratory represents a new contribution to the application of distributed artificial intelligence to electric power grids towards the promise of resilient smart grids.

LIINES Website: http://amfarid.scripts.mit.edu

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Prof. Amro M. Farid presents at Transactive Energy Systems Conference

On Tuesday May 17, 2016, Prof. Amro M. Farid presented at the Third International Conference and Workshop on Transactive Energy Systems in Portland, Oregon.   The presentation entitled:  “Microgrids as a Key Enabling Transactive Energy Technology for Resilient Self-Healing Power Grid Operation” featured some of the LIINES’ recent research on resilience in power systems.

Building upon the recent IEEE Vision for Smart Grid Controls, the presentation advocated the concept of resilience self-healing operation in future power grids.  This continues to be an important area of LIINES research and has been the subject of several recent blogposts.  (See here, here and here).  The concept of resilient power systems effectively means that healthy regions of the grid can continue to operate while disrupted and perturbed regions bring themselves back to normal operation.   A key technology enabling this resilience is microgrids because they are often able to island themselves from the rest of the grid and continue to operate successfully.   In this presentation, the microgrids were controlled with a transactive energy control architecture that couples several control layers to achieve both technical reliability as well as cost effectiveness.  Furthermore, the presentation showed the ability for several microgrids to self-coordinate so as to demonstrate “strength-in-numbers” when adverse power grid conditions like net load ramps and variability arise.   The presentation concluded with the need for significant new research where transactive energy control concepts are intertwined with recent work on power grid enterprise control.


In depth materials on LIINES smart power grid research can be found on the LIINES website.


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Journal Paper Accepted at Renewable & Sustainable Energy Reviews – Job Creation Potentials and Skill Requirements in PV, CSP, Wind, Water-to-Energy and Energy Efficiency Value Chains

The LIINES is pleased to announce the publication of the journal paper entitled: “Job Creation Potentials and Skill Requirements in PV, CSP, Wind, Water-to-Energy and Energy Efficiency Value Chains” to the journal of Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews. This paper was authored by T. M. Sooriyaarachchi, I-Tsung Tsai, Sameh El Khatib, Amro M. Farid and Toufic Mezher.

Job creation is a significant outcome of the development and deployment of renewable energy (RE) and energy efficiency (EE) technologies. With the complicated dynamics related to job creation in RE and EE technologies, this paper considers direct, indirect as well as induced employment opportunities resulting from various sustainable energy sectors.

This paper explores the factors affecting job creation, existing techniques for establishing the job creation potentials, and the required skill sets in the sustainable energy sectors namely; solar PV power, Concentrated Solar Power (CSP), wind power, waste-to-energy, and energy efficiency measures. In addition, it provides case studies showcasing the variation of job creation in Germany, Spain, the United States, and the Middle Eastern region.


Figure 1: This figure represents available jobs within various renewable energy sectors. The figure was prepared by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) for the Renewable Energy and Jobs Annual Review 2015 IRENA Policy Day 9 June, 2015. Note that Solar Photovoltaic is the leading employer in the renewable energy sector.

For the RE sector, the study shows that available jobs and required skill sets heavily rely on the technology value chains of the specific industry. A further breakdown of the value chains allows for categorization of these jobs on account of their stability and permanency. On the other hand, jobs within the EE sector fall within educational awareness programs, energy efficient policies and regulations, and energy efficiency retrofitting which includes conducting energy audits and re-designing buildings to apply the necessary energy efficient measures.

The Input-Output matrix and Employment factor methods are considered in assessing the gross and net employment impacts of renewable energy deployment. The paper shows that employment factors vary widely based on the region studied, the size of the RE project, and the decomposition of the value chain. In this paper, employment potential is measured based on capacity installed, money invested or number of temporary and permanent jobs created per year.

The paper also provides a breakdown of skill types and levels required within the various sustainable energy sectors. Additionally, it outlines reasons for skill gaps within these RE sectors and provides recommendations on how to bridge such gaps. It observes that skill shortages or surpluses occur mainly due to poor coordination between RE development initiatives and skill providers such as educational institutions. Planning ahead within the RE and EE sectors to ensure better coordination is therefore, highly recommended.

As for the case studies, it is clear that the PV solar industry is at the forefront of job creation in the RE sector. This article shows the high growth potential of the solar PV industry and thus it’s greater opportunity for job creation. In the United States, energy efficiency strategies are predicted to create more than 4-billion job-years by 2030. Given the renewable energy targets and plans set forth by several countries in the Middle Eastern region, a lot of direct and indirect job opportunities are expected to be created in the coming years.

In analyzing the potential of job creation within the RE sectors, the article recognizes that indirect job losses resulting from phasing out fossil fuels, and the increasing electricity prices play a significant role in determining the actual net employment potential of the RE sector. On the other hand, this paper predicts the continued growth in job creation within the EE sector especially given the necessity for energy efficient measures to aid in curbing climate change.

About the Author:
Steffi Muhanji is completing her bachelor of engineering degree at Thayer School of Engineering at Dartmouth College. Her research interests are in renewable energy systems and electric microgrids. Steffi will be pursuing her PhD at the Thayer School of Engineering starting this fall with Prof. Amro M. Farid as her research adviser.
A full reference list of LIINES publications can be found here:
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Journal Paper Accepted at Springer’s Intelligent Industrial Systems Journal: Multi-Agent System Design Principles for Resilient Coordination & Control of Future Power Systems

The LIINES is pleased to announce the acceptance of the paper: “Multi-Agent System Design Principles for Resilient Coordination & Control of Future Power Systems” in Springer’s Intelligent Industrial Systems Journal. The paper is authored by Amro M. Farid and was published online at May 28th 2015.

Recently, the vision of academia and industry has converged, defining future power system as intelligent, responsive, dynamic, adaptive, and flexible. This vision emphasizes the importance of resilience as a “smart grid” property. It’s implementation remains as a cyber-physical grand challenge.

Power grid resilience allows healthy regions to continue normal operation while disrupted or perturbed regions bring themselves back to normal operation. Previous literature has sought to achieve resilience with microgrids capable of islanded operation enabled by distributed renewable energy resources. These two factors require a holistic approach to managing a power system’s complex dynamics. In our recent work (e.g. link 1 and link 2), we have proposed as means of integrating a power system’s multiple layers of control into a single hierarchical control structure.

In addition to enterprise control, it is important to recognize that resilience requires controllers to be available even if parts of the power grid are disrupted. Therefore, distributed control systems, and more specifically Multi-Agent Systems have often been proposed as the key technology for implementing resilient control systems. Multi-agent systems are commonly used to distribute a specific decision-making algorithm such as those in market negotiation and stability control. However, very few have sought to apply multi-agent systems to achieve a resilient power system.

The purpose of the paper entitled “Multi-Agent System Design Principles for Resilient Coordination & Control of Future Power Systems” is two fold. First, it seeks to identify a set of Multi-Agent System design principles for resilient coordination and control. Second, the paper assesses the adherence of existing Multi-Agent System implementations in the literature with respect to those design principles.

The set of design principles is based on newly developed resilience measures for Large Flexible Engineering Systems. These measures use Axiomatic Design and are directly applicable to the power grid’s many types of functions and its changing structure. These design principles, when followed, guide the conception of a multi-agent system architecture to achieve greater resilience.

About the author: Wester C.H. Schoonenberg completed his B.Sc. in Systems Engineering and Policy Analysis Management at Delft University of Technology in 2014. After his bachelors’ degree, Wester started his graduate work for the LIINES at Masdar Institute, which he continues as a doctoral student at Thayer School of Engineering at Dartmouth College in 2015. Currently, Wester is working on the integrated operation of electrical grids and production systems with a special interest in Zero Carbon Emission Manufacturing Systems.

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LIINES Website: http://amfarid.scripts.mit.edu

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Prof. Kamal Youcef-Toumi and Prof. Amro M. Farid give back-to-back invited lectures at Carnegie Mellon University

In the Fall of 2010, Prof. Kamal Youcef-Toumi and Prof. Amro M. Farid teamed up to collaborate on smart power grids.  For Prof. Youcef-Toumi, as director of the Mechatronics Research Laboratory and co-director for the MIT-KFUPM Center for Clean Water and Energy, this was a natural extension of his existing research.  For Prof. Farid, this was a natural shift of application domain from the control, automation and systems engineering of manufacturing system to energy systems.  Many of the recent research outputs featured within the LIINES smart power grid research theme are the rich fruits from this successful collaboration.  Today, on February 5th, both professors were invited to feature their collaboration at the 9th Annual Carnegie Mellon Conference on the Electricity Industry:  The Role of Distributed Coordination in Resilient & Fine-Grain Control of Power Grids.  

The first presentation entitled “A Multi-Agent System Transient Stability Platform for Resilient Self-Healing Operation of Multiple Microgrids” was delivered by Prof. Youcef-Toumi.  This work combines multi-agent system techniques from the field of distributed artificial intelligence with transient stability analysis from power systems engineering.  It recognizes that power grids are operated by multiple independent stakeholders be they independent power producers, semi-autonomous microgrids, full-scale utilities or whole countries.  Each has jurisdiction and control over its respective area even though the physical grids are electrically connected.  Hence, the multiple stakeholders must coordinate and collaborate with distributed control techniques in order to assure technical reliability.  The interested reader is referred to the publications led by Dr. Sergio Rivera on the LIINES website for further information.

The second presentation entitled “An Enterprise Control Approach for the Assessment of Variable Energy Resource Induced Power System Imbalances” was delivered by Prof. Farid.   This presentation reiterates the need for enterprise control techniques when assessing and mitigating the power system imbalances induced by the integration of variable energy resources like wind and solar PV.   It showed that when the power system’s primary, secondary and tertiary control are considered simultaneously, accurate and insightful conclusions can be made about the techno-economic viability of VER integration.  These conclusions overcome many of the limitations of existing methodologies found in recent renewable energy integration studies.  The interested reader is referred to the publications lead by Dr. Aramazd Muzhikyan on the LIINES website for further information.

These lectures follow similar inivited lectures at MIT and the Czech Technical University in Prague.  Full text of the background reference papers may be found on the LIINES publication page: http://amfarid.scripts.mit.edu


LIINES Websitehttp://amfarid.scripts.mit.edu

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LIINES/MRL Collaboración Reseñada en el Boletín de IEEE Colombia

La investigación del Dr. Sergio Rivera sobre coordinación de microgrids ha sido reseñada en el boletín de Agosto de la IEEE de Colombia. Este trabajo es parte del proyecto colaborativo en curso del LINES y el MRL que tiene como nombre: “Confiabilidad de la operación y control de sistemas de potencia en la presencia de la creciente penetración de fuentes de energía variables”. El Dr Rivera ha sido miembro activo del proyecto desde marzo del 2013 y ya ha producido resultados presentados en el congreso: “2013 Energypath Conference” en Filadelfia, Estados Unidos; el “MIT Postdocs Share thier Science” en Cambridge, Estados Unidos y en la conferencia: “The 2nd World Smart Grid Conference Middle East” en Abu Dhabi, Emiratos Árabes Unidos.

Las publicaciones y presentaciones del Dr. Sergio Rivera pueden ser encontradas en la web del LIINES bajo el link de “Smart Power Grids”.


LIINES Websitehttp://amfarid.scripts.mit.edu

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LIINES/MRL Collaboration Featured in IEEE Colombia Newsletter

Dr. Sergio Rivera’s research on Microgrid Coordination has been featured in the August Edition of the IEEE Colombia Newsletter.  This work is part of the ongoing LIINES/MRL project entitled:  “Reliability Power Grid Operation & Control in the Presence of Increasing Penetration of Variable Energy Resources”.  Dr. Rivera has been an active member of the project since April 2013 and has already produced research presented at the 2013 Energypath Conference in Philadelphia, PA, the 2013 MIT Postdocs Share Their Science in Cambridge, MA, and the 2nd World Smart Grid Conference Middle East in Abu Dhabi, UAE.

Dr. Rivera’s publications and presentations can be found on the LIINES Website under the Smart Power Grids research page.


LIINES Websitehttp://amfarid.scripts.mit.edu

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UAE-GCC Cigre Event on System Performance Development & Renewable Energy

Today, November 27, 2012, the UAE-GCC Cigre Event on System Performance Development & Renewable Energy was held on the ADWEA-TransCo premises in downtown Abu Dhabi. Members of the LIINES in addition to other Masdar Institute faculty and students joined industrial practitioners in the workshop. In all, subjects ranging from future trends in renewable energy to technical discussions on microgrids and power system protection were addressed. The Cigré — le Conseil international des grands réseaux électriques — the International Council of Large Electric Systems was originally founded in Paris, France in 1921. Today, it serves as a professional society for promoting both academic and industrial collaboration to improve the power systems of today and tomorrow.

LIINES Website: http://amfarid.scripts.mit.edu

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