This is not your grandparents’ power grid

Keeping the lights on requires advanced mathematical approaches to support a smarter, more resilient power grid

October 25, 2022


By Carleton Coffrin and Hassan Hijazi

Triple-digit summer heat. Windstorms and wildfires. Snow and ice and nasty cold snaps. These are not just facts of life in the Southwest, they are stressors on the power grid that increase the likelihood of outages. As extreme weather events become more frequent, these tests to the grid will continue.

But the good news is that advanced mathematics, physics and computer science solutions are increasingly ready to help operate the grid and allow for the design of safer, more reliable systems.

Reliably operating the power grid around the clock without interruption depends on the dedicated service of tens of thousands of people across the country. Equally vital, though out of sight and unknown to the general public, is the software that network operators rely on to make decisions for operating the grid in the most reliable and cost-effective way possible.

Algorithms, like the ones we work on at Los Alamos National Laboratory, crunch thousands of scenarios to provide a kind of artificial intelligence that enables fast and accurate decision-making. This is an important area for grid innovation.

Read the rest of the story as it appeared in the Santa Fe New Mexican.