Energy access constitutes one of the fundamental building blocks for economic growth, as well as social equity, in the modern world.

Access to sustainable energy is needed to achieve sustainable development. This paper serves as an input document to the global discussion on how to reach the UN goal of “Sustainable Energy for All”, by sharing case study knowledge in the field. The following topics are considered through the examination of several implemented cases from different parts of the world:

  • Analysis of the interaction between centralized grids and microgrids.
  • Analysis of stakeholder decision parameters for electrification through extension of the central grid or microgrids; such as distance from grid, economic feasibility and environmental sustainability.
  • Analysis of design differences and requirements for microgrids, based on intended purpose and the needs of the end customer.

It has been determined that good planning, appropriate requirements and clear regulations for microgrids limit the risk of stranded assets and enable better business cases for the involved stakeholders.


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A synchrophasor is a time-synchronized measurement of a quantity described by a phasor. Like a vector, a phasor is a complex number that represents both the magnitude and phase angle of voltage and current sinusoidal waveforms at a specific point in time. Devices called phasor measurement units (PMU) measure voltage and current, and with these measurements, calculate parameters such as frequency, real power (MW), reactive power (MVAR) and phase angle. Data reporting rates for these parameters are typically 30 to 60 records per second, and may be higher. In contrast, current supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) systems typically report data every four to six seconds – over a hundred times slower than PMUs.

Measurements taken by PMUs in different locations on the network are accurately synchronized with each other and can be time-aligned, allowing the relative phase angles between different points in the system to be determined as directly measured quantities. Synchrophasor measurements can thus be combined to provide a precise and comprehensive “view” of an entire interconnection, allowing unprecedented visibility into system conditions.

The number of PMUs installed worldwide, as well as the number and type of grid operations informed by PMU data and applications, have seen notable increases in recent years. The past six years have seen a significant increase in the number of PMUs installed across North America’s transmission grid, from fewer than 500 installed in 2009 to nearly 2,000 today. This rapid increase in deployment of PMUs was spurred by the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), which funded federal Smart Grid Investment Grants (SGIG) and Smart Grid Demonstration Projects (SGDP), with matching private funds. In Norway, responsibility for the deployment of PMUs has recently been assumed by the Transmission System Operator’s IT division, meaning that PMUs are becoming an integral part of the grid information infrastructure for system operations.


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June 6, 2016


Storage and balancing as key elements for future network planning and electricity markets design

The aim of this report is to analyze the flexibility contribution that identified resources could provide as a contribution towards the achievement of efficient and cost-effective dispatching of the electric system, in presence of an ever increasing penetration of Renewable Energy Sources (RES) which are characterized by a variable generation pattern.

Higher flexibility in network dispatching can be achieved either by increasing the deployment of bulk storage in the transmission network, or by widening the set of resources available as a base for energy balancing. The latter strategy could potentially be actuated by allowing reserve procurement across transmission operator jurisdictions.

In a European context this strategy would be referred to as trans-national balancing; and could also be relevant to procurement across different Regions and Balancing Authorities in North America. A further positive could be achieved through participation in the balancing mechanism from generators and loads located in distribution networks. Beyond supporting dispatching efficiency, these flexibility elements make it possible to deploy a sustainable expansion strategy of the trans-national transmission corridors, taking into account the current difficulties faced in achieving public consensus for the building of new overhead lines. This report illustrates the potential of these strategies by referencing the results achieved in a number of important and ongoing European research projects.


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