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Distinguished Lecture (online) – Role of the Smart Grid in Facilitating the Integration of Renewables by Prof Saifur Rahman, Virginia Tech, USA

Industrial Electronics Society

With the focus on environmental sustainability and energy security, power system planners are looking at renewable energy as supplements and alternatives. But such generation sources have their own challenges – primarily intermittency.  It is expected that the smart grid – due to its inherent communication, sensing and control capabilities – will have the ability to manage the load, storage and generation assets (including renewables) in the power grid to enable a large-scale integration of distributed generation.

In a smart grid, information about the state of the grid and its components can be exchanged quickly over long distances and complex networks. It will therefore be possible to have the integration of sustainable energy sources, such as wind, solar, off-shore electricity, etc. for smoother system operation. But in order for this to be possible, the electric utility will have to evolve, and change their ways of operation to become an intelligent provider of these services.

This talk introduces the operational characteristics of renewable energy sources, and various aspects of the smart grid – technology, standards and regulations. It also addresses the interplay among distributed generation, storage and conventional generation to provide an efficient operational strategy in the context of the smart grid.

Biography: Prof Saifur Rahman is the founding director of the Advanced Research Institute at Virginia Tech, USA, where he is the Joseph R. Loring professor of electrical and computer engineering. He also directs the Center for Energy and the Global Environment. He is a Life Fellow of the IEEE and an IEEE Millennium Medal winner. He was the president of the IEEE Power and Energy Society (PES) for 2018 and 2019. He was the founding editor-in-chief of the IEEE Trans. Sustainable Energy and IEEE Electrification Magazine. He has published over 140 journal papers and has made over four hundred conference and invited presentations.

In 2006 he served on IEEE Board of Directors as vice president for publications. He is a distinguished lecturer for IEEE Power & Energy Society and has lectured on renewable energy, energy efficiency, smart grid, energy internet, blockchain, IoT sensor integration, etc. in over 30 countries.  He is the founder of BEM Controls, LLC, and a Virginia (USA)-based software company providing building energy management solutions.  He served as the chair of the US National Science Foundation Advisory Committee for International Science and Engineering from 2010 to 2013. He has conducted several energy efficiency, blockchain and sensor integration projects for Duke Energy, Tokyo Electric Power Company, the US National Science Foundation, the US Department of Defense, the US Department of Energy and the State of Virginia. He has a PhD in electrical engineering from Virginia Tech.

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