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OptGrid: Optimizing Renewable Energy Technologies at the Grid Edge (Text Version)

This is the text version of the video "OptGrid: Optimizing Renewable Energy Technologies at the Grid Edge."

Video opens with a shot of energy transmission lines against a purplish dusk sky. Blake Lundstrom, Senior Engineer at NREL, talks off camera.

Blake Lundstrom: So historically in the grid when you connect things at the distribution level…

Video cuts to an overhead shot panning over houses in a neighborhood with solar panels on the roofs.

Blake Lundstrom: …in the neighborhoods, the homes, et cetera, many of those devices are just…

Video cuts to a close shot of someone plugging in a charger to an electric vehicle.

Blake Lundstrom: …put online and they operate without any coordination. And that makes for challenges in other parts the grid.

Video cuts to a shot of transmission lines in a field with the sunset in the background.

Blake Lundstrom: And so in this program, we've been able to show to utilities…

Video cuts to Blake Lundstrom on screen.

Blake Lundstrom: to stakeholders, regulators, et cetera, that we can take all of these devices, successfully coordinate them in a way provides benefit to the grid.

Video cuts to Andrey Bernstein, Senior Researcher and Project Co-Lead at NREL, on screen.

Andrey Bernstein: So everyday we hear there are more and more devices added to the system, such as solar panels, electrical vehicles…

Video cuts to a shot of solar panels on top of the building with a cloudy sky in the background.

Andrey Bernstein: …people create more and more energy on the edge of the system.

Video cuts to three researchers, including Bernstein, in the laboratory.

Andrey Bernstein: These algorithms are able to coordinate all this energy and optimize all of the systems in a way…

Video cuts to a close up shot of research data and figures on a monitor.

Andrey Bernstein: …in a concert with grid, basically, to make sure that the grid is stable…

Video cuts to Andrey Bernstein on screen.

Andrey Bernstein: …and also all of the customers are satisfied.

Video cuts to Emiliano Dall'Anese, Former Project Co-Lead of the University of Colorado Boulder, on screen.

Emiliano Dall'Anese: The main challenge pertains to the coordination of a number of assets in the distribution system or even a transmission system in real time…

Video cuts to a close up shot of data on a monitor.

Emiliano Dall'Anese: …and by real time I mean at a second or sub-second level.

Video cuts to a shot of words on the screen with a digital illustration of data in the background. The words say, "OptGrid is an optimization platform that was developed under the U.S. Department of Energy's Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy (ARPA-E) Network Optimized Distribution Energy Systems (NODES) program."

Video cuts to a shot of two researchers talking while looking at data in a laboratory. Sonja Glavaski-Radovanovic, Chief Energy Digitalization Scientist at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, talks off screen.

Sonja Glavaski-Radovanovic: NREL's NODES project is on of 12 products that were funded…

Video cuts to a group of researchers talking around equipment in a laboratory.

Sonja Glavaski-Radovanovic: …through this portfolio…

Video cuts to Sonja Glavaski-Radovanovic on screen.

Sonja Glavaski-Radovanovic: …And if you into the portfolio of the projects, they probably, at this point in time, have gone furthest when it comes to demonstration in the field.

Video cuts to a shot of data on a monitor.

Sonja Glavaski-Radovanovic: Not only did they test technology developed…

Video cuts to a shot of a group of researchers looking at a computer monitor in a laboratory.

Sonja Glavaski-Radovanovic: …in NREL's ESIF facility…

Video cuts to an overhead shot of solar panel arrays on rolling hills in California.

Sonja Glavaski-Radovanovic: …they tested in a microgrid that they set up in California…

Video cuts to a shot of homes being built with solar panels on them in Basalt, Colorado.

Sonja Glavaski-Radovanovic: …and they are testing it also with Holy Cross co-op.

Video cuts to Andrey Bernstein on camera.

Andrey Bernstein: So this project laid fundamental groundwork for other projects at NREL, and one notable project is autonomous energy systems…

Video cuts to a close-up shot of two researchers talking in front of a blurred monitor showing data in the background.

Andrey Bernstein: …where we are talking about even larger systems…

Video cuts to three researchers talking around equipment in a laboratory.

Andrey Bernstein: …multi-cell systems, and you view what we did in this project…

Video cuts to a shot of the same three researchers talking in a laboratory with data on a computer monitor behind them.

Andrey Bernstein: …as a cornerstone, in the sense that…

Video cuts to Andrey Bernstein on screen.

Andrey Bernstein: …it allows us to optimize one single cell in the system; one single area in the system. Now in autonomous energy systems, we are taking this further…

Video cuts to a digital animation of city lights at night with electrical connection lines mapped out over the city.

Andrey Bernstein: …and we are optimizing a multi-cell system…

Video cuts to a digital animation of city lights at night with coded data flying over the city.

Andrey Bernstein: …where every cell can use the same distributed algorithm was developed…

Video cuts to Andrey Bernstein on screen.

Andrey Bernstein: …But you have the coordination between the cells and therefore you can actually attain even larger scalability.

Video cuts to a shot of Blake Lundstrom, Andrey Bernstein, and another researcher talking in a laboratory.

Blake Lundstrom: So what excites me the most about being involved in this project is…

Video cuts to a close-up shot of data on a monitor.

Blake Lundstrom: …being able to start at the control and design stage…

Video cuts to Blake Lundstrom on screen.

Blake Lundstrom: …and really come up with new ideas of how to develop something that is very transformational for the grid…

Video cuts to a shot of Andrey Bernstein and another researcher inspecting equipment in a laboratory.

Blake Lundstrom: …and then be able to look at that from the lens…

Video cuts to a shot of Blake Lundstrom talking while pointing at data on a computer monitor.

Blake Lundstrom: …of a theoretician – what's the best way to design this algorithm, how can we prove it's going to work…

Video cuts to a shot of Andrey Bernstein giving a presentation to a group of people.

Blake Lundstrom: …but then be able to move that to implementation.

Video cuts to Andrey Bernstein on screen.

Andrey Bernstein: This work has basically been a cornerstone of this future vision of energy systems…

Video cuts to a shot of a group of houses with solar panels on the roof with a garden in the foreground.

Andrey Bernstein: …where you can add different devices into the system in a way that…

Video cuts to a close up shot of someone inserting a plug into an electric vehicle.

Andrey Bernstein: …is easy – plug and play – and it also can…

Video cuts to Andrey Bernstein on screen.

Andrey Bernstein: …support the vision of smart cities…

Video cuts to a digital animation of a city growing on a street map.

Andrey Bernstein: …and a cleaner energy world where you can use…

Video cuts to a shot of a kitchen. A word box with icons pops up on screen that says, "Welcome." The text box then changes to say, "Smart Home Controls" with a different set of icons.

Andrey Bernstein: …your own energy sources on the edge, optimize them and coordinate them; orchestrate them so that the entire system works well, similarly to how…

Video cuts to Andrey Bernstein on screen.

Andrey Bernstein: …it worked with large power plants, but now with all these different smaller devices that are deployed at people's houses.

Video cuts to a digital animation of various data and measurements. A text box pops up that says, "Learn more: nrel.gov/grid." Video then fades to black.