EPRI Podcast: Key Is Integrated Resource Planning
Mark McGranaghan is vice president of Distribution and Energy Utilization for the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI). He is co-author of the book, Electrical Power Systems Quality, now in its third edition. McGranaghan has a B.S. and M.S. in electrical engineering from the University of Toledo. He also holds an M.B.A. from the University of Pittsburgh.
Flexibility, electrification, distributed solar, and smart inverters are familiar terms in today's utility environment, but they are of particular relevance to integrated resource planners.
EPRI's Mark McGranaghan, Vice President of Distribution and Energy Utilization, touched on these topics, and a few more, in our latest EPRI Unplugged conversation.
According to McGranaghan, the variety of new issues related to renewables and demand response have a one-two punch. First, how they affect traditional generation resources, and then, how they affect the transmission and distribution system when dealing with changes in generation. Planning becomes a particular challenge.
"The renewable resources, such as wind, are very competitive now with other generation resources. But those resources may not be in a convenient place, so we need more new transmission to get that generation, that power, to where the loads are," he said.
On February 12, 2017, grid operator Southwest Power Pool reported that wind supplied fifty-two percent of electricity that day, with no reliability issues. That is a record in the U.S.
McGranaghan said this level of wind integration demonstrates that the U.S. grid can accommodate renewables. He added that similar numbers have been achieved in Germany and Ireland.