Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Repository provides online library of grid models

Steve Rogerson
June 20, 2017
BetterGrids has opened an online library of grid models developed for the US Department of Energy for free public use by the grid research community.
The Grid Data Repository was financed under an award from the Advanced Research Programme Agency-Energy (Arpa-E), as part of the Grid Data programme to support new research in grid modernisation. The repository organises data from disparate utility industry sources, public data generated by the grid research community, and new grid models being created under the Arpa-E Grid Data programme by five project teams.
"The repository addresses the growing need for more realistic grid models in the public domain to support grid research and testing," said Ali Vojdani, president of California-based BetterGrids. "While every utility has models, they usually contain sensitive information so are only available to researchers under strict conditions."
The grid research community is actively working to modernise the electric grid to support the growth of renewable energy, and improve grid resiliency to storms and cyber-physical attacks. Advancements have been hindered by the lack of publicly available, high-fidelity, large-scale power system models that realistically represent current and evolving grid challenges. The Arpa-E Grid Data project addresses this need. 
Design and construction of the repository started last year with input from Arpa-E, grid researchers and other industry stakeholders. The repository is built entirely with open source software and is supported by industry volunteers. It is expected to support more advanced research in grid modernisation by enabling more comprehensive and transparent testing, as well as richer and more comprehensive research collaborations.
"We thank all the organisations and volunteers who have contributed to the development of the repository, and look forward to continuing our collaboration in support of smart grid research and education," said Robert Kennedy Junior, BetterGrids director.
The BetterGrids Foundation is a non-profit organisation set up to provide support for the repository in a self-funding and self-governing manner. Over 50 organisations, including Arpa-E, GridBright, several universities, national laboratories, grid operators and software vendors have contributed to the development of the repository.
GridBright is a grid management specialist for the utility industry. It helps the electric industry improve grid operations through smarter ways to manage resiliency, distributed resources and renewables. GridBright was awarded the contract by Arpa-E to develop and ensure long-term operations of the repository.
The Grid Data programme funds the development of large-scale, realistic, validated and open-access power system network models. These models will have the detail required to allow the successful development and testing of transformational power system optimisation and control algorithms.