• Planning Climate-Smart Power Systems

    Unprecedented heat waves, storms, and wildfires are pushing electrical grids in the United States to their limits. An energy scientist and a climate scientist discuss how utilities can plan for a resilient electrical grid in the face of an uncertain climate future.

  • New Dataset Shows Value Building Flexibility Adds to Grid

    New study estimates the gross value (including capacity, energy, and ancillary service values) of generic building flexibility in future power systems projected for the contiguous United States using computer modeling. Building flexibility refers to a building’s capability to shed, shift, and modulate electricity demand.

  • Drones Approved for Aerial Inspections of Power Facilities

    Drones have allowed companies new ways to stretch the boundaries of current regulations. One of the latest wins for drone technology is a waiver from the FAA that gives Dominion Energy, one of the U.S. largest energy companies, permission to use drones to inspect power-generation facilities in seven states.

  • Using Historical Weather Data to Optimize Power Grid

    With the record-breaking heat and drought conditions states across the U.S. are currently facing, finding a solution to the growing need for reliable power from the electric grid is at an all-time high. Information about past outlier conditions could provide valuable context to help operators better manage the grid during extreme weather.

  • Tool Estimates Costs of Power Interruptions

    Berkeley Lab-led initiative helps electric companies improve grid reliability and resilience. The initiative aims to update and upgrade the Interruption Cost Estimate (ICE) Calculator – a publicly available, online tool – which estimates the economic consequences of power interruptions.

  • Texans Asked to Conserve Energy to Protect the Power Grid for the Second Time in a Week

    Texans have been asked to turn up their thermostats and avoid using large appliances from 2 to 9 p.m. Wednesday. The power grid operator said it does not expect rolling blackouts.

  • How Does the U.S. Power Grid Work?

    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.

  • Cybersecurity 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.

  • Predicting, 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.

  • Targeted 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.

  • Green 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).

  • Ultrafast 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 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.

  • Armored 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.

  • Small-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.