Publications

- October 1, 2020: Vol. 13, Number 9

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Making the power grid agnostic: Imagine a future where it runs on open-source technology

by Shuli Goodman

As coal prices fluctuate and regulations increase, utilities are phasing out dirty coal sources. With renewable energy such as solar and wind set to become the fastest-growing sources of electricity generation in 2020, it might seem like utilities are turning to greener options. But in reality, the transition to renewable energy isn’t that simple.

Managing mountains of data

No matter how much a power producer wants to “go green,” our current power grid and control systems were built decades ago and simply can’t handle the torrent of edge data headed their way. The International Energy Agency has reported that 11 billion smart energy devices could soon connect to the grid, significantly increasing loads and resources — data will become a critical enabler for system and network operators to choreograph supply and demand flexibility.

This influx of data, coupled with the variability of renewable energy, means we are fundamentally shifting

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