Engineers highlight COVID-19 utility challenges

COVID-19 Mask

The COVID-19 pandemic shows how “more than ever, the reliable, resilient and cost-effective delivery of electrical energy is critical for our society.”

That’s according to Frank Lambert, president of the Institute of Electronic and Electrical Engineers and principal research engineer at Georgia Tech’s Center for Distributed Energy.

Lambert was speaking following the publication by the IEEE of a free new white paper titled ‘Sharing Knowledge on Electrical Energy Industry’s First Response to COVID-19‘, which is designed to share insights to assist utilities and operators meet the challenges posed by the pandemic.

“The team’s quick action to share knowledge on the industry’s first response is helping to ensure the reliable and safe distribution of electricity to communities worldwide,” Lamber added.

The IEEE says the paper draws on input from global energy industry stakeholders, and the IEEE PES Industry Technical Support Leadership Committee. This committee engages with governments, regulators and other industry organizations globally on technical issues related to power, energy and policy topics.

The paper addresses challenges facing the utility industry as a result of global lockdown measures, such as changing consumption patterns and peak energy demand times, high voltage issues related to load reductions, load forecasting and balancing, emergency planning and emergency planning.

It also examines several technical and business impacts, including resource availability to assure essential services; Criticality of electric infrastructure, reliability and resilience impact; Supply chain disruptions; Impact on energy consumption and also modification of consumption patterns.

Aleksi Paaso, an IEEE PES member and also director of Distribution Planning, Smart Grid and Innovation at ComEd, is the lead author of the white paper. “The technical impacts and mitigation measures related to the COVID-19 pandemic provide sound guidance for utilities facing changes in consumption patterns and peak energy demand times,” he said.

“This work by IEEE PES members to address concerns such as high voltage issues related to load reductions, load forecasting and balancing, emergency planning and more benefits the power and energy industry as a whole.”  

The white paper is available for download to both IEEE members and non-members at the IEEE PES Resource Center.  

This article was originally posted on Power Engineering International and was republished with permission.


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