Power flows on the transmission grid following the path of least resistance to AC flow. Diversity in demand, supply and transmission facility characteristics results in some facilities carrying more flow than others, not necessarily in proportion to their capacities. Frequently, few transmission facilities are congested and most of the system has spare capacity.
Given the redundancy built into the system by grid planners, usually there are reconfigurations that can route power around congested facilities, using uncongested parts of the system. These reconfigurations are implemented by opening or closing existing circuit breakers, which remove or put facilities back in service.
Transmission reconfiguration is used by most system operators; albeit to a limited extent because reconfigurations are typically identified based on the personal experience of operations staff.
NewGrid Router is a transmission topology optimization software package that systematically and automatically identifies beneficial, reliable and implementable reconfigurations under operational conditions. By improving the distribution of flow over the network, NewGrid’s topology optimization:
- Increases the transfer capacity of the grid by 5-10%,
- Reduces grid congestion costs by 30-50%,
- Relieves transmission facility overloads,
- Enables operators to take full advantage of the flexibility offered by the transmission grid.
NewGrid software supports power operations, operations planning, and markets decision making including:
- Outage scheduling and coordination,
- Seasonal contingency planning,
- Remedial action plan and operating guide (Op. Guide) development,
- Congestion management.
NewGrid topology optimization increases grid reliability and resilience. When outages and extreme events occur, NewGrid Router enables operators to:
- Adapt grid configuration to system conditions,
- Prevent or minimize customer disconnections,
- Expedite grid recovery.