im2 iTesla is a large project funded by the European Commission under the 7th Framework Package and involves a consortium of over 15 academic and industry partners with strong participation from European system operators.  iTesla started in January 2012 and will last until December 2015. The project’s aim is to build a platform that will enable real-time dynamic security assessment of the pan-European electricity grid.

iTesla is motivated by the rapidly changing landscape of electricity system operation, characterized by large-scale penetration of intermittent renewable energy sources as well as the increasing deployment of power electronic devices that enable real-time controllability but may give rise to complex dynamic phenomena. The three major innovations of the iTesla project are:

  • Explicitly consider the uncertainty state-space by developing a suitable Monte Carlo framework leveraging historical measurements across the grid. This is a radical departure from the philosophy of existing tools which are based on a single worst-case trajectory.
  • Perform comprehensive security assessment of possible future system states taking into account the dynamic behaviour of the system using detailed time-domain simulations.
  • Consideration of all available preventive and corrective security measures so as to ensure system robustness to all plausible disturbances in a cost-efficient manner.

The main challenges of iTesla relate to problem size and complexity; evaluating a large system’s dynamic stability bound in view of the high-dimensional uncertainty and the large number of possible failures is not feasible in real-time. In addition, the plethora of control decisions available render recoverability a challenging problem. To this end, the principal idea in iTesla is to inform real-time processes through an offline workflow that analyses millions of pre-executed dynamic simulations to intelligently explore the vast state-space and infer robust classification rules. 

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The iTesla platform architecture (left) and the envisaged real-time interface for System Operators.

iTesla is leveraging developments in machine learning techniques, big data statistics, parallel computing, dynamic simulations and non-linear optimisation methods to deliver a state-of-the-art toolbox that will assist System Operators worldwide in the looming transition to the smartgrid era. The strategic importance of iTesla has already been recognised at the European level with the supercomputer PRACE consortium awarding 9.7 million core-hours for the validation of the developed tools.

More information can be found on the official project website: http://www.itesla-project.eu

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