• POWER GRIDHow Does the U.S. Power Grid Work?

    By James McBride and Anshu Siripurapu

    Responsible for powering the country and its economy, the U.S. energy grid has come under increasing strain due to climate change, and the threat of cyberattacks looms. The U.S. electric grid brings power to millions of homes and businesses via a vast network of transmission and distribution lines. Experts say the grid is increasingly vulnerable to extreme weather events, such as the February 2021 Texas winter storms, and cyberattacks. President Biden has proposed overhauling the grid, but his plans could face legal and political hurdles.

  • GRID PROTECTIONCybersecurity Tools to Protect Solar, Wind Power on the Grid

    Solar panels and wind turbines are projected to produce 44% of America’s electricity by 2050, but they present cybersecurity challenges. They have sensors, controllers, actuators or inverters which are directly or indirectly connected to the internet using insecure connectivity to legacy electric grid systems. They have complex physics. They’re subject to advanced persistent threats. And there will be more and more of them going online.

  • GRID RELIABILITYPredicting, Managing EV Charging Growth to Keep Electricity Grids Reliable, Affordable

    With a growing fleet of EVs on the road, grid planners depend on accurate estimates of charging patterns to calculate electricity demand. A team of researchers at Stanford University assembled a scalable probabilistic model for charging demand that can be applied to a flexible array of populations and account for a wide range of factors.

  • GRID RELIABILITYTargeted demand response reduces price volatility of electric grid

    To reduce the energy load during supply constraints on the Texas power grid, it is not necessary to reduce the energy load in high population centers such as Houston and Dallas. Instead, when supply is strained, focusing on a few strategic locations across the state outside of those high-population areas is much more cost-effective and can have a greater impact on the price volatility of the grid.

  • RARE EARTH ELEMENTSGreen Rare-Earth Recycling Goes Commercial

    Rare earths are essential ingredients in the magnets that power many technologies people rely on today, such as cell phones, computers, electric vehicles, and wind turbines. Researchers have  developed a novel way to extract rare earth elements (rare earths) from the high-powered magnets in electronic waste (e-waste).

  • EMP THREATUltrafast Devices to Protecting the Grid from EMPs

    Scientists from Sandia National Laboratories have announced a tiny, electronic device that can shunt excess electricity within a few billionths of a second while operating at a record-breaking 6,400 volts — a significant step towards protecting the nation’s electric grid from an electromagnetic pulse.

  • TEXAS POWERTexas Cold Snap Highlights Need for Improved Power Systems

    The greatest demand for electricity in Texas is traditionally during the hottest days of the year, when air conditioners turn on full blast to beat the heat. But in February 2021, an unusually long spell of cold weather took the region by surprise. With extreme weather events rising in frequency, the need for a prepared modern energy grid grows.

  • POWER-GRID PROTECTIONArmored Transformer Barrier Protects Electric Power Grid

    A 2013 sniper attack on an electric power substation in Northern California, which caused more than $15 million in damages and destroyed 17 transformers, led researchers to develop a novel protective solution: the Armored Transformer Barrier system.

  • ENERGY SECURITYSmall-Scale Renewable Energy Sources Could Cause Power Failures

    Renewable energy that feeds into the main power grid could destabilize the system and potentially cause power failures according to a new study.

  • ENERGY SECURITYWe Need Hydropower for a Resilient Grid

    By Kelsey Adkisson

    The shift in power source mix and climate change-driven natural disasters make America’s most critical piece of energy infrastructure—the grid—more vulnerable than ever before. That’s where hydropower plays a pivotal role: When other types of power plants go dark, hydropower provides a fast, crucial response in seconds.

  • ENERGY SECURITYPan-European “Supergrid”' Could Cut 32% from Energy Costs

    A European wide ‘supergrid’ could cut almost a third from energy costs according to a new study finds. The 32% cost reduction identified is borne primarily from the expansion of European power flows - derestricting them to allow the location of renewable generation to be optimized, thereby significantly decreasing the total installed capacity.

  • GRID SECURITYBlocking Microgrid Cyberattacks to Keep Power Flowing

    Detection methods that identify the weaknesses in smart power grids will prevent cyberattacks from disrupting supply to critical infrastructure.

  • ENERGY SECURITYImproving the Flow of Renewable Energy to Power Plants

    Integrating renewable energy with the power grid continues to be a big challenge for the electrical grid infrastructure in the United States. The solution is not simple, but it is not impossible, either.

  • Grid SecurityTexas Energy Regulators, Gas Industry Try to Reassure the Public That the State’s Power Grid Is Ready for Winter

    By Mitchell Ferman and Erin Douglas

    As state regulators and the companies that power the grid take steps to avoid another catastrophe like February’s winter storm, climate experts say this winter will likely be milder.

  • Grid Resilience Balance of Power—Building a Resilient Electric Grid

    Events such as blackouts and outages are increasing in frequency as the nation’s infrastructure ages and climate change leads to extreme weather events. Hotter, wetter summers and harsher winters require more reliance on heating and cooling utilities, placing higher stress on the nation’s electric grid. Newtechnology can ‘help keep the lights on’ during emergencies.