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Control of the grid in 2020, and how economics can help us

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Mustapha Amrani.

Stochastic Processes in Communication Sciences

Control of the grid takes place on many time-scales, and is analogous to many other control problems, such as confronted in aviation. There is decision making on times scales of days, weeks, or months; much like the planning that takes place for ticket sales for a commercial airline. Hourly decision making of energy supply is analogous to the chatter between pilot and air traffic controller to re-adjust a route in response to an approaching thunderstorm. Then, there is regulation of the grid on time-scales of seconds to minutes; consider the second-by-second movement of the ailerons on the wings of an airplane, in response to disturbances from wind and rain hitting the moving plane. There are also transient control problems: The recovery of the grid following one generator outage is much like the take-off or landing of an airplane.

In this talk we survey control issues in the grid, and how the introduction of renewables brings new and interesting control problems. We also explain the need for economic theory to guide the formulation of contracts for resources needed for reliable real-time control.

This talk is part of the Isaac Newton Institute Seminar Series series.

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