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DOE funds innovative project led by SDSU Tim Hansen

DOE funds innovative project led by SDSU Tim Hansen

By Scout Nelson

Tim Hansen, an associate professor at South Dakota State University’s Jerome J. Lohr College of Engineering, has been chosen to co-lead an innovative project aiming to revolutionize power systems in the era of renewable energy abundance. The initiative, funded by the United States Department of Energy’s Solar Energy Technology Office, seeks to enhance the adaptability and resilience of power grids amidst increasing renewable energy integration.

Named "TRANSFORMATIVE" (Transmission and Distribution Systems with Flexible and Optimal Coordination: Resilience, Modeling, and Technologies for a VRE and DER-Integrated Adaptive Energy Grid), the project is led by Zongjie Wang from the University of Connecticut. It involves a multi-disciplinary team across the U.S., including researchers from the University of Utah, the Rochester Institute of Technology, and Raytheon Technologies Research Center.

The project addresses the challenges posed by distributed energy resources (DERs) like rooftop solar and battery storage, as well as the implications of Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's Order No. 2222. This order allows DERs to participate in transmission system operations, necessitating improved coordination between transmission and distribution systems.

Hansen's role involves modeling the impact of distributed energy resources on dispatch decisions and assessing the influence of extreme weather on their availability. The project aims to develop advanced tools for efficient utilization of DERs and demonstrate their effectiveness in real-world scenarios, such as at the Southwest Power Pool control center.

With a focus on commercialization and software development partnerships, the project aims for tangible outcomes in a short timeframe. The ultimate goal is to increase renewable energy integration, aligning with U.S. sustainability objectives, including achieving a decarbonized electricity sector by 2035.

Funded with approximately $4.5 million from the U.S. Department of Energy, this project is part of a broader $34 million investment to address evolving challenges in power grid planning and operations. Hansen expresses optimism about the project's potential to transform power system operations, emphasizing collaboration and innovation as key drivers of success.

Photo Credit: south-dakota-state-university

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