Smart Grid Observer

Building a More Resilient Grid in Puerto Rico

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Source: Smart Grid Observer

May 14, 2018 --

When Hurricane Maria struck the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico last September, it took the entire island's power grid with it.

Today, over 95 percent of the island has its power restored, but the rebuilding process is far from finished. Over the long term, many challenges remain along with some big opportunities to make the grid smarter and more resilient. The Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA) manages the island territory's grid and serves millions of customers. Now, they've set out to rebuild it better than before. To help accomplish that great challenge, they have teamed up with the New York State Smart Grid Consortium (NYSSGC) (a public-private partnership focused on grid modernization) and ProsumerGrid to help inform strategic decisions that will shape Puerto Rico's grid for years to come.

With funding from the Energy Department's Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E), ProsumerGrid is building a powerful tool to simulate integrating distributed energy resources (DERs) and distribution system operator (DSO) functions. DERs are resources like solar power, smaller generators, small wind power, or even big battery systems that enter the electric grid in nontraditional ways. DSOs run the networks responsible for distributing this electricity to where it is needed. As these distributed resources become increasingly popular, conventional ways of managing the grid are having trouble keeping up. In order to build a smarter and more resilient grid, new options like DERs, microgrids, and integrated operations systems need to be evaluated.

The company's highly specialized and interactive software simulates the operation of massive amounts of DERs and emerging DSOs at the physical, information, and market levels. The software will provide a studio environment with adjustable parameters, allowing experts to develop novel grid designs tailor-made for their strategic objectives and policy requirements.

Click here to read the full story.

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