The Smart Grid Center is a Division within the Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station (TEES), formed to expand on the smart grid-related efforts of TEES in an area of intense national interest in ensuring the reliability, sustainability, and security of the electric energy supply. The Center’s mission is to form a competitive interdisciplinary environment to advance efficient use of electric energy and modernization of the electricity grid. The Center promotes collaboration and creation of multidisciplinary research teams to investigate smart grid problems and deliver more innovative and effective smart grid solutions. The Center’s vision is a seamless integration of power system infrastructure with the transportation and built environment to create 21st century energy ecosystems capable of solving pressing energy issues while meeting the needs of future generations.
Specific goals are to:
- Assist expanding the government and private sector vision of the smart grid;
- Conduct transformational research to generate new concepts, technologies and integrated systems for the 21st century grid;
- Train engineering students and professionals in electric energy-related concepts and technologies.
Other objectives involve:
- Studying public policy implications;
- Initiating and supporting international collaborative programs;
- Developing partnerships for smart grid research;
- Providing unbiased advice to industry, government and the public related to electric energy production, transport and consumption, and smart grid matters.
Achieving these goals and objectives will position the Texas A&M University System and the State of Texas as global leaders in education, research, and public service in the modernization of the electricity system, leading to job creation and increasing business opportunities for Texas and the nation.
Electric energy is key to every economy and for societal prosperity across the globe. The smart grid effort is aimed at transforming this critical infrastructure into the 21st century and beyond using computer-based remote control and automation. The smart grid has been called “electricity with a brain,” the “energy Internet,” and the “Electronet.” Basically, it is about integrating electricity infrastructure and data to produce electricity more efficiently and reliably, as well as cleanly and safely for the environment. Historically, the electric grid was designed to be relatively simple, causing electric power to flow along the path of least resistance. Over the years, electricity grids became very complex with addition of the renewable generation, microgrids and active loads. For decades, utility companies have had to rely on data for the most part collected and monitored by meter readers, repair personnel, and other utility workers. The smart grid modernizes the way electricity is delivered from suppliers to consumers and describes the next generation of power systems incorporating communications and information technology to generate and deliver electrical energy. In the new context, the electricity grid is viewed as:
- Enabling informed participation by customers
- Accommodating all generation and storage options
- Enabling new products, services, and markets
- Providing the power quality for the range of needs in the 21st century economy
- Optimizing asset utilization and operating efficiently
- Addressing disturbances through automated prevention, containment, and restoration
- Operating resiliently against all hazards.
The TEES Smart Grid Center galvanizes a number of smart grid-related activities that are underway in the A&M System and brings them under a coordinated umbrella to form partnerships essential for smart grid research, education and training. These partnerships are funded through various projects in excess of more than $10 million over the next five years. The Center aims to expand on its broad range of capabilities and expertise in six key smart grid areas: Electricity Transmission/Distribution and Production/Consumption; Clean Energy Enabling Technologies; Electrified Transportation System; The Built Environment; Computer Information Services; and Energy-related Markets. They all come together to create an integrated infrastructure able to handle the growing power demands of residential, corporate, and public needs ranging from smart homes and plug-in electric vehicles to distribution intelligence and operation centers.
Collaborators and their expertise can be found here.
A large-scale testbed facility with smart grids control center is hosted at the Center for Infrastructure (CIR) on the RELLIS campus of Texas A&M. More
Deep Cyber-Physical Situational Awareness for Energy Systems: A Secure Foundation for Next-Generation Energy Management, a $3 million project under the Department of Energy (DOE) started in October of 2018 and lasts for 3 years. The three-year $3M research and development projects goal is to use deep visibility to design a next generation secure energy management system that would enable stakeholders across energy industrial control domains to better prepare, mitigate, repair, and recover from cyber-related threats. A demonstration phase of the project is planned with Vistra Energy. Private industry vendors will be involved including S&C Electric, Network Perception, and IncSys. The work will be carried out at the new TAMU’s Resilience Lab at the Center for Infrastructure Renewal (CIR) campus that enables customized energy control system environments for experimentation in this work. PI: Katherine Davis (ECE, TAMU), Co-PIs: Thomas Overbye (ECE, TAMU), Daniel Ragsdale (CSE, TAMU) , Ana Goulart (ET&ID, TAMU), Saman Zonouz (Security LLC), Eric Vurgin (Sandia National Laboratories), Shamina Hossain-McKenzie (Sandia National Laboratories), James O’Brien (Pacific Northwest National Laboratories), Mark Rice (Pacific Northwest National Laboratories), and Edmond Rogers (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign).
Deep Learning-based Detection of Stealth False Data Injection Attacks in Large-Scale Power Grids, a $360K project under the National Science Foundation (NSF) started in September 2018 and lasts for 3 years. The project aims to contribute enhanced state-of-the-art cyber-physical security strategies for transmission system operation, where results will inform solution of similar problems including cyber-physical attack detection at generation, transmission, and distribution levels as well as in communication networks, banking systems, cloud computing and storage, and other critical infrastructures. PI: Katherine Davis (ECE, TAMU),Co-PIs: Dr. Erchin Serpedin (ECE, TAMU) and Dr. Thomas Overbye (ECE, TAMU).
Online Resilience Support System for Cyber-Physical Situational Awareness, a $60K project under the Grainger Grant started in February 2018 and lasts for a year. The goal is to come up with improved technological solutions for assessing environmental elements, understanding their meaning, and predicting their future status, then identifying and taking actions to improve security and resilience. PI: Katherine Davis (ECE, TAMU), Marcus Holzinger (Georgia Institute of Technology)
US-India Collaborative for Smart Distribution System with Storage (UI-ASSIST), a $30 million project under the Department of Energy (DOE) started in October 2017 and lasts for 5 years. The overall objective of this project is to evolve the future distribution grid that will allow the continuing increase of Distributed Energy Resources (DER) penetration towards a carbon-free electricity system. The research proposed here leads to the fully conceptualized Smart Distribution Grid that optimally utilizes Grid Storage. The development is validated using ten different DI-ASSIST testbeds, and pilot field demonstrations at 10 different sites. PI: Anurag K Srivastava (Associate Professor, Washington State University, Director, Smart Grid Demonstration and Research Investigation Lab (SGDRIL)), Co-PIs: Mladen Kezunovic (ECE, TAMU), Anuradha Annaswamy (MIT), Rob Hovsapian (Idaho National Laboratory), Kevin Davies (Hawaii Natural Energy Institute), Ahmed Saber (ETAP), Devendra Vishwakarma (GE Energy Solutions), Mani Venkata (Alstom Grid Inc.),
“Timing Intrusion Management Ensuring Resiliency – TIMER” has been funded by the Department of Energy (DOE), National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) through the Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability’s Cybersecurity of Energy Delivery Systems (CEDS) program. In total, this project will cost $4,429,451. The research team is led by Dr. Mladen Kezunovic (Professor, Electrical & Computer Engineering) in collaboration with Dr. Alex Sprintson (Associate Professor, ECE) / Dr. John Lusher II (Associate Professor of Practice, ECE) and Dr. Jyh-Charn (Steve) Liu (Professor, Computer Science & Engineering). Partnering organizations on this project are Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Idaho Power Company, and EPG.
Smart Grids Big Data Spoke project, a 3-year collaborative research titled “Smart Grids Big Data” has been awarded a total of $1,000,000 by the National Science Foundation (NSF) Big Data (BD) Spokes Program. The main objective of this project is to develop an organization, the Smart Grids BD Spoke that creates an open access BD infrastructure enabling collaboration and innovation in the smart power grid area. Talents and resources from academia, government and industry will be brought together, as well as “engaging industry to define its challenges and implement new BD technologies for cost-effective computational, analytical, and data management solutions needed to get the full benefits of smart grids; and establishing close collaboration with the South Hub to find the most effective way to develop outreach, education, and training” as stated in the project summary. The leading role on this project is provided by Dr. Mladen Kezunovic (Professor, Electrical & Computer Engineering, Texas A&M; Director, TEES Smart Grid Center). Co-Principal Investigators from Texas A&M are Dr. Dilma Da Silva (Professor, Department Head, Computer Science & Engineering), P.R. Kumar (Professor, Electrical & Computer Engineering), and Le Xie (Associate Professor, Electrical & Computer Engineering). Sub-awardees are Dr. Santiago Grijalva (Professor, Georgia Tech) and Zoran Obradovic (Temple University). More details on the awards may be viewed at the following websites: award 1, award 2, award 3. The start of the project is September 1, 2016 and is extended for 1 more year.
Electric energy and the electricity grid are – and have been for many years – major research focus areas of TEES. The SGC is both a research and outreach entity that seeks to expand the industrial affiliates program already in place through the resources just described. Having a core group of research leaders as points of contact will simplify the process by which potential partners try to contact researchers and students. The SGC was formed to support these strengths and provide a single organizational structure to bring these researchers together.
Dr. Mladen Kezunovic
Smart Grid Center Director
Eugene E. Webb Professor
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
Texas A&M University