Group aims to protect grid reliability

The Consortium for the Intelligent Management of the Electric Power Grid (CIMEG) was awarded a three-year $1.5 million grant from the Electric Power Research Institute and the Department of Defense to develop an intelligent management system for the nation`s electric power grid. The system, which would operate in a manner similar to a computer network, would help ensure reliability in times of severe natural disasters or other crises. No system currently exists to protect the integrity of the nation`s entire interconnected electrical grid.

CIMEG is comprised of three academic institutions-Purdue University, University of Tennessee and Fisk University-and two public electric utilities-Commonwealth Edison (ComEd) and the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA).

As states enact deregulation legislation, the number of interacting electric connections on the nation`s 240,000 miles of transmission lines has been increasing dramatically. Transmission lines are now being constructed to import cheaper power from utilities all over the country, as well as from Canada.

It is possible that in the near future, the grid`s ability to deliver the power that consumers require in real time and on demand within acceptable voltage and frequency limits and in a reliable and economic manner may become severely tested.

CIMEG will target three areas: prediction, modeling and faster computing. Advanced computer programming techniques will be applied to improve electric load prediction and decision making. Computer modeling techniques for accurately modeling electric generation and electric load, and high-performance computing for simulations, visualizations and online stability analysis will also be developed.

A prototype system, scheduled to be developed by 2003, is slated to be tested in ComEd and TVA service territories.


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