Very large amounts of renewable electricity generation, combined with a large penetration of plug-in electric vehicles, may cause considerable stress to electrical grids and to the system of spinning reserves. This problem can be solved by controlling the huge number of electrical resources that are located in distribution grids, such as thermal loads, stationary batteries, charging stations and curtailable power generators. However, this poses a number of new challenges in terms of online computation, scalability and reliability. In this talk we discuss how these challenges are solved by COMMELEC, a system of real-time software agents developed at EPFL and deployed in several grids. We discuss how real-time load-flows can be computed with guaranteed convergence, how uncertainty about power injections impacts controllability of the grid state, and how active replication of real-time controllers can be supported.

Video Recording