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Technology Needs For The Restructured Electric Power Industry

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1998 Annual Conference


Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 28, 1998

Start Date

June 28, 1998

End Date

July 1, 1998



Page Count


Page Numbers

3.547.1 - 3.547.13

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Paper Authors

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Fred I. Denny

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 2533


Fred I. Denny Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering Louisiana State University

During the next few years, the electric power industry in the United States will undergo profound restructuring. The Energy Policy Act of 1992 introduced competition in wholesale power markets, and subsequently the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued Orders requiring the "unbundling" or separation of generation dispatch functions from transmission services and marketing functions. The North American Electric Reliability Council (NERC) has led industry efforts to make a transition to the regional coordination of system security functions. Regional coordination may require establishing an "independent system operator" to achieve economic power exchanges and reduce line loading problems. Several states, including California, New Hampshire, and Pennsylvania, have already committed to new legislation and/or have introduced regulatory reforms. The other states are following close behind with deregulation and restructuring proposals.

A great deal of attention has been focused on the economic and public policy implications of electric power industry restructuring, and in the wake of the Western system power outages of July and August 1996, many articles have addressed the potentially adverse reliability implications of restructuring. Clearly the new business environment will create not only new forms of regulation and competition, but also unprecedented needs for technological solutions to problems in the areas of systems operations and systems planning.

This paper focuses on the new technologies and techniques that will be needed in a restructured electric power industry. This paper identifies the principal operating changes that will occur and some of the major technological solutions associated with these changes.

The requirements for open access to transmission networks will increase power flows and change power flow patterns. As a consequence, innovative means will be needed for upgrading transmission networks and for using existing networks to their fullest potential. Several individuals and organizations including The Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) have been placing a significant amount of effort on the development of methods and hardware systems using power electronics to address these needs. Notable in this area is the development of Flexible A.C. Transmission Systems (FACTS). This paper discusses some of the additional efforts that will be needed in this area.

Unbundling and increased competition will require that new information systems be developed both for economic power exchange related functions and for system security related and reliability coordination functions. Improved transducers, data acquisition systems, and expanded or enhanced communications technologies will be needed. This paper provides a status report on activities in this area.

Denny, F. I. (1998, June), Technology Needs For The Restructured Electric Power Industry Paper presented at 1998 Annual Conference, Seattle, Washington.

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