With the increasing intensity and occurrence of extreme weather events, the US electricity grid faces increasingly complex and interdependent challenges. Baringa is pleased to share that we are the sole management consultancy selected by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to participate in its Grid Modernization Initiative (GMI) to support the development and deployment of concepts, tools, and technologies needed to measure, analyze, predict, protect, and control the grid of the future while incorporating equity and the best available climate science.

Project CASCDE is a consortium of Argonne National Laboratory, National Renewable Laboratory, Lawerence Berkely Labs, Rutgers, Ameren, the University of Wisconsin Madison, Jupiter Intelligence, and Baringa and we are thrilled to be amongst such excellent collaborators. CASCDE is one of 9 projects to receive DOE funding to assess wide-area extreme weather impacts to the power system. This strategic project combines the expertise of three of the nation's leading national labs, two universities, two critical energy asset owners, a market-leading climate forecast provider, and Baringa's power market modelling.

Recent events such as winter storm Uri or the heatwave in the Pacific Northwest which resulted in millions of customer outages and billions of dollars of economic impact illustrate the critical need for grid planners to incorporate these wide-area extreme events into grid planning. The challenge is that climate scientists today are challenged with forecasting these types of events with sufficient accuracy. Our project CASCDE team assembles some of the world’s leading scientists, statisticians, and market modelers to solve this exact issue. 

The recent FERC Order 896 explicitly acknowledges this planning gap by directing “the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) to develop a new or modified reliability standard to require transmission system planning for extreme heat and cold weather conditions over wide geographical areas, including studying the impact of concurrent failures of generation and transmission”.

By understanding the impact of these wide-area extremes and forecasting their likelihood, grid planners can substantiate the costs of mitigation (e.g., new transmission, generation, or storage). We believe solving this challenge is critical to keeping the lights on for our nation and may fundamentally change how grid planning is done today.

"Traditional grid planning is focused on the expected, but as climate extremes become more commonplace, and sources of electric power transition away from fossil-fueled to weather-dependent generating resources, grid planners must incorporate the unexpected extremes into our planning. Working on this project, Ameren expects to benefit our customers and stakeholders through more reliable methods for identifying and planning for extreme, yet plausible climate events."

Joseph E. Millard, Ameren Services Company

"This project aims to address the issue of characterizing and forecasting wide area extremes and their impact on the nations’ electrical infrastructure, which presents significant conceptual and computational challenges. Using some of the latest advances in applied mathematics and numerical algorithms, and benefiting from a multifaceted, integrated team that has both technical depth as well as significant experience with pressing industry problems, we aim to achieve the best balance between performance and impact in this area."

Mihai Anitescu, Argonne National Laboratory

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