When you turn on a light or power up your laptop, you might not think about the engineering marvel – the electric grid – that makes it possible. You almost certainly don’t think about the age of the existing grid and the need to move towards more modern systems.
For participants of the Eversource Energy Center Grid Modernization Summit, ways to make the delivery of electricity more reliable were at the front of everyone’s minds.
According to the Department of Energy, the U.S. electric grid has more than 9,200 electricity generating units, with over 1 million megawatts of capacity connected to over 600,000 miles of transmission lines.
The goal of the Grid Modernization Summit was to discuss how our new electricity needs – from electric vehicle charging stations to storm readiness in the face of climate change – tax this existing infrastructure and to begin to consider solutions.
“With more and more systems relying on the grid, our aging electric infrastructure is required to perform beyond its original design and capacity,” says Emmanouil (Manos) Anagnostou, director of the Eversource Energy Center and professor of engineering at UConn. “With this conference, we are bringing together leaders from across the energy chain to decipher how profound transformations in our society will reshape power markets.”
The second annual event was held last week at UConn and brought together state regulators, ISO operators, power utilities, technology leaders, and academic researchers for a multifaceted discussion on the biggest challenges facing grid modernization efforts. Panelists from Eversource, Edison Electric Institute, ISO New England, Avangrid, and other entities presented solutions for grid modernization by considering the complex interdependencies of technology, economics, regulation, and social demand.
For more information on the Eversource Energy Center at UConn Tech Park, visit eversource.uconn.edu.