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NREL News Release: New Consortium of Power System Operators and Technical Institutes Commits to Decarbonization Efforts Ahead of President Biden’s Leaders' Climate Summit

National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)
·4-min read

Global Effort Focuses on Research, Innovation, Knowledge Exchange, and Technical Assistance To Achieve Net-Zero-Emissions Power Systems

Golden, CO, April 21, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Today, U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm and U.K. Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) Secretary of State Kwasi Kwarteng joined with CEOs of power system operators and organizations from around the world to introduce the Global Power System Transformation (G-PST) Consortium, a bold and innovative public-private partnership to accelerate transitions to net-zero-emissions power systems and drive broader economic growth.

The launch event signals a major commitment from power system operators and other key institutions to implementing the technologies and approaches that will permanently change their emissions trajectories while simultaneously improving grid reliability, resiliency, and security.

“While each country will take a different path to 100% clean energy, we’ll all face similar obstacles along the way—which means there’s great value in collaboration,” said Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm. “The Global Power System Transformation Consortium gives leading power system operators a broad range of support—from world-class research institutes to government agencies and private companies—in solving these common challenges, clearing the way for us to collectively cut emissions by 50% over 2020 levels in the next 10 years. At the same time, American grid operators will be able to use these solutions to speed our transition at home and unlock millions of new jobs in the U.S.”

Secretary Kwarteng added, “Tackling climate change requires international cooperation, and if we want to successfully achieve cost-efficient, green energy networks that work for everyone, we need to work together.

“As a world leader in both technological innovation and the renewable energy market, I am delighted that the UK is co-hosting the launch of this new consortium, uniting the very best of business, research, and academia to bring world-class renewable energy to the grid—key for economic growth, job creation, the climate, and building back greener.”

The G-PST Consortium is led by CEOs of five of the world’s leading system operators: Australia Energy Market Operator (AEMO), National Grid Electricity System Operator (ESO) U.K., California Independent System Operator (CAISO), Ireland’s system operator (EirGrid), and Denmark’s system operator (Energinet). The core technical team includes the Energy Systems Integration Group, Imperial College London – Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, Fraunhofer Cluster of Excellence for Integrated Energy Systems, VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Latin American Energy Organization, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Electric Power Research Institute, Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization, the Technical University of Denmark, and ASEAN Centre for Energy.

Ahead of the launch event, the G-PST Consortium published the inaugural global research agenda which identifies research areas that must be addressed to bring the highest levels of clean and renewable energy to the grid.

“This is a real opportunity to lead the world in decarbonizing power systems, at a time when the transition to clean energy has never been more important," stated Fintan Slye, executive director of Britain’s electricity system operator, National Grid ESO. “Our consortium has an ambitious research agenda, and we’re seeing that work in action as we continue to overcome technical challenges to harness more and more renewable power on our respective electricity systems."

Martin Keller, director of NREL, noted on behalf of the G-PST Consortium’s core team organizations, “This research agenda focuses on bulk power system issues that must be addressed in the next decade—including inverter design, stability tools and methods, control rooms of the future, planning, restoration and black start, and technical services for supply-demand balance. It proposes 59 research questions that are meant to stimulate innovative industry research and public-private sector collaboration to ensure a future global energy system that is safe, cost effective, and resilient.”

Public-private research collaboration is a central tenet of the G-PST Consortium and allows for efficient sharing of innovation with developing countries and other global stakeholders.

“The G-PST Consortium is an exciting new forum for public-private collaboration that will help realize the full potential for reliable, low-cost power systems based on clean energy technologies and efficiently share cutting-edge research and operational practices with developing countries and utilities throughout the world,” said Elliot Mainzer, CEO and president of CAISO.

Prominent system operators from Africa, Asia, Latin America, and Eastern Europe are key partners in the G-PST Consortium, and early collaboration between the G-PST Consortium and Indonesia's system operator, Perusahaan Listrik Negara (PLN), will inform upgrades to PLN's Java-Bali control room to allow for increased renewable energy integration.

“The G-PST Consortium provides an important opportunity to improve power system operations engineers’ technical competency throughout Indonesia by learning from world-leading electricity companies’ knowledge and experience,” said Zulkifli Zaini, PLN CEO.

For additional information on the G-PST Consortium and its capabilities, please visit globalpst.org.

CONTACT: G-PST Consortium National Renewable Energy Lab globalpst@nrel.gov