Home of the Columbus, Ohio IEEE Power & Energy Society IEEE

December 2019 – Workshop of Renewable, Storage & Grids

A one-day 2019 Workshop on Interconnections of Renewables & Energy Storage to Electric Grids, held on December 6 at New Albany AEP Transmission Headquarters, focused on planning, operations, control, modeling and business cases of transmission and distribution-connected renewables and energy storage — and their impacts on the electric grid system. The event was sponsored by the IEEE Power & Energy Society (PES) Columbus Chapter. This workshop attracted about 80 attendees across the industry, including from AEP, FirstEnergy, Public Utilities Commission of Ohio, and Ohio State University (OSU).

Raja Sundararajan, president and chief operating officer, AEP Ohio, and Bob Bradish, vice president, AEP Transmission Planning & Engineering, were the opening speakers.

In his remarks, Raja Sundararajan told the group that he sees a lot of solar projects coming in the next three to four years. He outlined AEP’s wind projects in Oklahoma, and said, “Renewables are here to stay and are a growing part of the power grid.” He talked about the importance of developing battery storage and the overall transformation of the grid.

Bob Bradish discussed AEP’s experience with the technical challenges related to the need to move large amounts of wind energy from remote locations to the load centers over long transmission lines. He also addressed the technical and regulatory challenges related to integrating bulk energy battery storage

He also mentioned that AEP’s priorities include “enhancing power quality, grid stability challenges in areas with a high penetration of wind and solar generation, and a continuing and focused response to addressing wholesale customer concerns.

The other workshop speakers included:

  • Dr. Jianwei (Jay) Liu, senior lead engineer/ project manager, PJM Interconnection
  • Francois Gressier, manager, Energy Program, Engie North America, Inc.
  • Dr. Antonio Conejo, professor, Department of Integrated Systems Engineering and Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, OSU
  • Tom Weaver, manager, Distribution System Planning, AEP
  • Dr. Kenneth Loparo, professor and Chair, Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Case Western Reserve University
  • Aaron Bloom, director, Product Research and Development of NextEra Analytics, and chair of the Energy Systems Integration Group’s System Planning Working Group
  • Dr. Mahesh Illindala, associate professor, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, OSU
  • Kiril Andov, senior engineer, System Performance Analysis, AEP Transmission
  • Dr. Jianzhe Liu, postdoctoral researcher, Argonne National Lab
  • Dr. Xuan Wu, workshop chair, chair of the IEEE PES Columbus Chapter and senior engineer, AEP Transmission

The topics discussed during the workshop included: opportunities and challenges of Distributed Energy Resources (DERs) connecting to electric grids; the OSU smart campus initiative; out-of-box thinking related to 100-percent renewables; DER/microgrid planning considerations for a distribution circuit; control techniques used in the Case Western Reserve University campus microgrid; improving grid resilience using energy storage; transient analysis for wind power interconnections; and improving cyber-security for a distribution circuit with DERs.

The speakers and the audience mostly agreed that increasing amounts of renewables and energy storage will be interconnected to electric grids, bringing with it numerous benefits. However, anticipated challenges that need to be addressed include protection and control requirements, transient stability, cyber-security, economics, and regulatory uncertainties.