Marija Ilic, director of Carnegie Mellon University's Electric Energy Systems Group (EESG), and several other EESG researchers and their collaborators in Portugal have developed a real-world database for electric power grids of Flores and San Miguel, two of nine volcanic islands located approximately 900 miles west of Lisbon, Portugal, in the North Atlantic.
Using this database, the team has modeled and assessed the potential of residential and commercial electricity users to participate in a load-management program. The team has also simulated new automation concepts for ensuring reliable and stable electric power service using electric vehicles (EVs) and fast storage, such as flywheels. The research showed that fast automation can ensure stable operations of the power grid when there are large, unpredictable wind gusts.
‘By implementing our smart grid management software to measure wind velocity, we could help San Miguel residents switch to using more energy fueled by wind turbines and deflating electricity cost from the current $185/MW to $88/MW,’ Ilic says. ‘The similar scenario could be true for most remote islands or coastal communities where energy is consistently expensive.’
The research team also studied the potential for saving and storing energy through use of hybrid EVs.
‘In the islands with extreme wind penetration, the CO2 emissions can be drastically reduced – up to 80 percent of today's typical emission level – with the same or lower long-term electricity cost and reliable service,’ says Remceo Verzijlbergh, a team member from Delft Technical University in the Netherlands.