The United States has 37 gigawatts (GW) of utility-scale solar capacity—enough to power over 4,070,000,000 LED lights—with an impressive additional 112 GW of capacity currently under development.
With so much large-scale solar power already in place, current trends in energy systems clearly point to renewable energy sources and battery energy storage systems being major players in the power grids of the future. But these new technologies bring additional complexities and challenges. Given the obstacles, how can we understand the behavior of modernized grids and the ways in which power system operators and policymakers can ensure their continued reliability on a large scale? Duncan Callaway and José Daniel Lara of the Energy & Resources Group are part of a team that is helping unlock the answer. Their recently published IEEE Electrification article describes a novel, open-source computation analysis approach to simulate low-inertia power systems.