The Department of Energy’s Grid Modernization Initiative has published a report summarizing findings from the first annual peer review in April 2017. The report reviews 30 of the 87 publicly funded projects in the [...]
During the last four years, Sandia and Montana Tech University have been working on a project funded by the Department of Energy’s Office of Electricity Delivery & Energy Reliability and the Bonneville Power Administration to [...]
Sandia has been awarded $1.5M over the next three years to lead the “Designing Resilient Communities” project and support two other projects awarded under the Department of Energy’s Grid Modernization Initiative Lab Call. The Resilient Distribution [...]
Modeling Tools, Control Strategies, and Improved Weather Forecasting Enable More Renewables on the Grid
Transitioning to a renewables-intensive future, a goal supported by many US states, presents numerous technical challenges. Distributed energy resources (DER), such as solar and wind, have variable power outputs that can impact grid performance and [...]
2017 R&D 100 Award: Control System for Active Damping of Inter-Area Oscillations
Today, electric power grids operate well below transmission capacity to avoid widespread outages due to inter-area oscillations. This new control system improves electric power grid reliability by continuously damping inter-area oscillations, allowing greater power transfer. This control system is the first successful grid demonstration of feedback control, making it a game changer in efforts to transform the existing grid into the future smart grid. Watch the video.
Jean-Paul Watson, Ph.D.
Jean-Paul Watson is a distinguished member of technical staff in the Discrete Math and Optimization Department at Sandia National Laboratories. He has over 13 years of experience applying and analyzing algorithms for solving difficult combinatorial optimization and informatics problems in fields ranging from logistics and infrastructure security to power systems and computational chemistry. His research currently focuses on developing methods for approximating the solution of large-scale deterministic and stochastic mixed-integer programs with application to electricity grid operations and planning. He presently leads projects at Sandia for stochastic economic dispatch, stochastic optimization for the power grid, and stochastic MINLP. Previously, he developed solutions for real-world stochastic optimization problems in logistics (Lockheed Martin and the US Army) and sensor placement (US Environmental Protection Agency). Additionally, he led the development of programs involving the use of semantic graph technologies for performing geospatial imagery analysis. He is a co-developer of Sandia’s Pyomo open-source software package for modeling and solving optimization problems, and he has published over 45 journal articles in the areas of optimization algorithms and their application.
David Schoenwald, Ph.D.
David Schoenwald is a principal member of the technical staff in the Electric Power Systems Research Department at Sandia National Laboratories. In his current work, he focuses on control system design for damping inter-area power system oscillations, mitigation of network-induced issues in control systems employing real-time measurement feedback, and development of performance standards for grid-scale energy storage systems. In prior work, he has developed models and simulations for a diverse set of applications including agent-based economic models for critical infrastructures, system dynamics models for study of counter-insurgency tactics, and stability analysis of robotic swarms. Before joining Sandia, he was with Oak Ridge National Laboratory where he developed models and controls for manufacturing applications. He was also an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, where he taught a graduate level course in nonlinear control systems. He received a B.S. from the University of Iowa, an M.S. degree from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, and a Ph.D. degree from The Ohio State University.
Jim Ellison’s research interests are at the intersection of policy, economics, and technology. He uses production-cost modeling to quantify the benefits of grid-scale storage and to examine the impacts of variable generation on the grid. His interests include retail tariff and wholesale market design. Prior to his work in the Electric Power Systems Research Department at Sandia, he worked in the National Infrastructure Simulation and Analysis Center modeling energy infrastructure for the Department of Homeland Security. Prior to Sandia, Jim worked for the AES Corporation in the former USSR as a business developer, a power plant manager, and a distribution company manager.
Brian J. Pierre, PhD
Brian J. Pierre is a senior member of technical staff at Sandia National Laboratories in the Electric Power Systems Research Department. His most recent research is focused on power system resilience and power system controls. Prior to his work at Sandia, Brian worked at the NASA Glenn Research Center and Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories. Brian received his Ph.D. in electrical engineering focused on electric power systems from Arizona State University.
Matthew J. Reno, PhD
Matthew J. Reno started working at Sandia National Laboratories in 2003 and is a senior member of technical staff in the Electric Power Systems Research Department. His expertise in quasi-static time series analysis of distribution grid feeders and circuit reduction methods has led to transformative changes to speed up feeder modeling. Matt received his Ph.D. in electrical engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology.
Felipe Wilches-Bernal, Ph.D.
Felipe Wilches-Bernal is a senior research engineer in the Electric Power Systems Research Department at Sandia National Laboratories. Felipe’s work includes power system wide-area control and monitoring using phasor measurement units, studying the impact of communications on real-time control, and developing the future smart-grid. He also has experience analyzing the effects that high levels of wind energy penetration have on the bulk power system. Felipe obtained his Ph.D. in electric power and control at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, NY; his M.Sc. in control and signal processing at Université Paris-Sud XI in Orsay, France; and his B.Sc. in electrical engineering at Pontificia Universidad Javeriana in Bogota, Colombia.
Ricky Concepcion joined the Electric Power Systems Research Department at Sandia National Laboratories as a member of technical staff in 2014. He has conducted research in the areas of state estimation, dynamic simulation and control of high photovoltaic penetration transmission systems, and energy storage system valuation. His other research interests include signal processing in the smart grid, statistical signal processing, and optimization. Ricky received a B.S. in engineering physics and an M.Eng. in electrical and computer engineering from Cornell University in Ithaca, NY.
Michael Baca, Ph.D.
Michael Baca has extensive experience and background in the electric power industry. With Sandia, he has extensive experience in the areas of cyber security, energy surety, resilience, power modeling, and advanced microgrid analysis and design. Specifically, he has done project and technical work to analyze and develop advanced microgrid designs for the Department of Energy and the Department of Defense customers both for military facilities and commercial sites. Prior to working at Sandia, Mike worked with Bonneville Power Engineering for 10 years as an electrical test engineer where he commissioned several large power substations, and he worked with Intel for three years where he helped commission the distribution infrastructure for Fab 11X in Rio Rancho, New Mexico. He has an M.S. in electric power engineering and a Ph.D. in neuroscience from the University of New Mexico.