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Panel moderator Flora Flygt, at a podium with A. Wade Smith, Tony Montoya, Bob Mitchell, and H. B. “Trip” Doggett sitting in the panel.

Extreme weather conditions, increased demand and changing technologies are fueling researchers to search for near-term solutions to modernize and secure the United States’ aging power grid. Dr. Mladen Kezunovic, director of the Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station’s Smart Grid Center, and his co-authors have released a report on the outcome of the “Executive Forum and Workshop on Physical and Cyber Infrastructure to Support the Future Grid” held in May.

The event, which focused on the 10-year horizon for improvements to the power grid, was organized by the Power Systems Engineering Research Center (PSERC) with support from the National Science Foundation. Attendees included thought leaders from the utility and manufacturing industries, as well as government, non-profits and academia. The diverse group of researchers engaged in discussions on emerging research issues and how to resolve them in the next decade.

“This forum was an excellent opportunity for researchers from a variety of backgrounds to bring their perspectives to the table and brainstorm ideas for upgrading the power grid,” said Kezunovic, who is also the Texas A&M University site director for PSERC. “By working together, we can better meet the challenge of providing research deliverables within the next 10 years that will improve the functionality and security of the power grid.”

Kezunovic leads discussion during forum

The final report includes input and viewpoints from more than 100 participants. Key takeaways included the need for the future power grid to move toward incorporating real-time technologies in order to address resiliency challenges, as well as the need for resilience metrics with weighted indicators based on economical, electrical and social factors.

Report authors were Kezunovic, coordinator; Jay Caspary, Southwest Power Pool (vice chair, PSERC Industry Advisory Board); Flora Flygt, American Transmission Co. (chair, PSERC Industry Advisory Board); George Gross, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; Ward Jewell, Wichita State University; Mirrasoul J. Mousavi, ABB; and Dennis Ray, PSERC.

A full copy of the report is available online

Top photo, from left: Panel moderator Flora Flygt, strategic planning and policy advisor, American Transmission Co.; A. Wade Smith, president and chief operating officer, AEP Texas; Tony Montoya, executive vice president and chief operating officer, Western Area Power Administration; Bob Mitchell, CEO, Atlantic Wind Connection and Trans-Elect Development Co.; and H. B. “Trip” Doggett, president and CEO, ERCOT.