MAKING ELECTRIC POWER SYSTEMS BOTH
SECURE AND EFFICIENT:
Electrical and Computer Engineering and
Engineering Public Policy
In this talk we pose the problem of secure and efficient electric power systems as a control-engineering problem. An electric power system is viewed as a dynamical system with well-defined system states, disturbances, feedback and feed-forward signals and outputs. In addition, the performance metrics at the various levels of this complex system are defined.
Particularly interesting aspect of this formulation is that the signals of interest are a mix of technical (voltage, frequency, line flows, real, and reactive power), economic (price) and policy signals (regulated, partially regulated, industry in transition, ultimate state).
Three different industry structures are analyzed: Fully regulated, top-down managed industry; industry in transition, which is characterizable as a hybrid system; and, fully distributed electric power industry. For each of these industry structures we review current challenges, and indicate possible ways forward.
A notion of an ``optimal'' architecture for security and efficiency is introduced. It is shown that while such architecture is initial design dependent, its performance is greatly affected by the type of supporting control and communications schemes. We stress the critical role of a sufficiently controllable and observable architecture if the same electric power system is to meet secure performance (i.e. be capable of localizing the effects of high impact extremely low probability events), and to, at the same time perform efficiently under relatively normal conditions (i.e. be able to deliver the most efficient services/products to the right places). This is a fundamentally orthogonal concept to the concept to the top-down management in which end-users; distributed generation and the delivery system are basically passive parts of the architecture. We describe so-called Protocols for Dynamic Energy Control (PDEC) as a possible control/communications system for managing an electric power system by active decision making in order to achieve flexibility and security at the same time.