Shirazi Attends Next Generation Energy Grid Workshop

Shirazi Attends Next Generation Energy Grid Workshop

ACEP researcher Mariko Shirazi traveled to Albuquerque, New Mexico, last week for a 1 1/2-day workshop titled "Enabling Advanced Power Electronics Technologies for the Next Generation Electric Utility Grid" and hosted by Sandia National Laboratories.

The workshop included panel discussions and presentations by pioneers in the field of power electronics and grid integration of converter-coupled distributed energy resources. The nature of the electrical grid is changing as ever more power flows through power electronics — whether to integrate renewable and energy storage technologies, to provide enhanced functionalities or to increase efficiency.

The goal of the workshop was to identify what that future grid may look like, what is state of the art in power electronics today, what are the challenges and how should we focus our power electronic efforts to enable that future grid.

ACEP is keenly interested in this research because many remote communities in Alaska, along with other remote and island microgrids, will achieve that future grid scenario well before large mainland electric utility grids. This workshop, which featured speakers from academia, industry and government with collectively several centuries worth of experience, was a valuable opportunity to identify how we can leverage that expertise to meet Alaska microgrid needs and simultaneously provide a real-world demonstration of future grid technologies.

A view of the electric utility grid workshop. Photo by Mariko Shirazi/ACEP.