Tell Me Something Grid Series

This series introduces some of NREL's outstanding researchers in grid modernization and shares how their work is shaping the grid of the future.

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Browse below to meet some of NREL's expert grid researchers and get a behind-the-scenes look at their work to make the nation's electrical grid more flexible, reliable, resilient, secure, and sustainable.

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Scaling and Aggregation Supercharge Electric Vehicle Charging

Distributed energy resources such as electric vehicles could support a more cost-effective, reliable, and sustainable bulk power system. But coordinating lots of distributed energy resources to benefit the grid and maximize cost savings can be complicated. Grid researcher Luke Lavin describes a study done in partnership with his transportation colleagues at the laboratory on the potential opportunities and pitfalls of different electric vehicle managed charging approaches.

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New Modeling Approach Ensures All Community Members Are Considered in Electricity Systems Evolution

The evolution of the electricity system has historically been modeled from the perspective of a single utility or central planner, with limited consideration of the diversity of individual consumers and suppliers and societal objectives, incentives, and actions. But that approach is becoming less effective as electricity systems rapidly evolve. Grid researcher Elaine Hale describes a new modeling approach to ensure all community members are considered.

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Unlocking Grid Potential Around the World With the Global Power System Transformation Consortium

To achieve a global and inclusive response to climate change, it is critical to support system operators worldwide with managing the challenges related to integrating high levels of renewable energy. NREL senior grid researcher Amy Rose discusses her role leading a team that works directly with system operators in developing countries to implement the technical solutions needed to operate reliable, low-carbon grids.

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Cambium Offers Forward-Looking, Publicly Available Data To Build Into Grid Planning Workflows

Making decisions about the future grid or grid-connected systems requires detailed data of estimated future U.S. emissions, costs, and electricity generation. NREL energy systems researcher Pieter Gagnon developed and updates Cambium, one of NREL’s many publicly available grid planning tools that offers electricity sector metrics at the hourly resolution to support detailed analysis of possible future grid conditions and impacts of potential decisions.

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Strategic Planning Could Maximize the Benefits of Integrating Electric Vehicles Into Electricity Distribution Systems

Electricity distribution system planners are seeking more information about increased electricity demand from electric vehicles so they can strategically plan system upgrades, implement charging control methods, and develop new market solutions, if needed. NREL grid analyst Nadia Panossian discusses new research on how to best integrate lots of electric vehicles into distribution systems.

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Protecting Power System Frequency With Increasing Distributed Energy Resources

Distributed energy resources with advanced controls can provide services to the grid such as frequency response. However, unlike conventional generators, distributed energy resources have to regularly exchange signals with faraway control centers. NREL grid analysts Wenbo Wang and Xin Fang discuss potential impacts of these open communications networks.

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