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By | September 7, 2023

LF Energy Summit 2023 Recap: Continental-Wide Coordination of the Power Grid Powered by PowSyBl

LF Energy Summit 2023 showcased the innovative presentation titled “Continental-Wide Coordination of the Power Grid Powered by PowSyBl,” delivered by Nicolas Omont, Vice President of Operations at Artelys (video follows below). This session shed light on the critical importance of power grid security and introduced a collaborative open source project aimed at addressing this challenge.

Introduction to Artelys and Power Grid Security Analysis

Nicolas Omont began by expressing his gratitude to the Linux Foundation Energy for providing the platform to discuss the groundbreaking work Artelys is engaged in. Artelys is a company with over 20 years of experience specializing in mathematical optimization tools, especially in the energy sector. With around 100 employees and offices in various countries, Artelys has grown consistently while assisting the sustainability efforts.

Omont introduced the audience to the intricacies of power grid security analysis. He emphasized the unique nature of power grids, where during outages, electricity automatically flows through remaining paths. However, this can lead to overloads on other paths, potentially resulting in catastrophic grid failures. He highlighted the contrast with telecom networks, where a link loss doesn’t necessarily lead to overload. 

Challenges in Power Grid Simulation and Coordination

The speaker delved into the complexities of power grid simulation. He discussed how power grid operators anticipate grid behavior and simulate various contingencies to ensure stability. This process involves assessing elements, limitations, and directions, and ensuring that no single outage triggers a cascade failure.

Omont emphasized the need for coordination, especially at a regional level. He introduced the concept of regional coordination centers, illustrating how Europe is divided into regions to ensure effective grid management. He stressed the importance of coordinated security analysis, especially at the European level, to avoid issues stemming from partial merges and to manage the impact of outages across interconnected countries.

Open Source Collaboration for Power Grid Security

The core of Omont’s presentation was the Open Source project “Open Load Flow,” powered by PowSyBl. This initiative aims to provide a unified platform for power grid security analysis. The project is a joint effort between Artelys and RTE, the French electricity transmission system operator, along with contributions from other partners.

The presentation highlighted the benefits of open source collaboration in enhancing organizational efficiency. The modularity of the project allows for customization and integration of different devices. The speaker emphasized that while certain aspects might be specific to particular companies or regions, the project focuses on creating a common base that facilitates cooperation.

Key Takeaways and Future Directions

Nicolas Omont shared his key takeaways from the project. He highlighted the importance of good interfaces between public and private sectors to facilitate collaboration. He stressed the need for modularity to accommodate different requirements while maintaining a common foundation. He also emphasized the importance of the Linux Foundation Energy’s governance structure in fostering collaboration and visibility.