As the power grids undergo a transformative shift towards 100% renewable energy, the EPICS Centre is at the forefront, shaping the future of power grid planning and operation. This evolution demands adapting to the changing physics, economics, and regulatory frameworks, with particular focus on addressing the disruptive impact of inverter-based variable renewable energy resources. Guided by the Research Agenda of the Global Power System Transformation Consortium (G-PST), the EPICS Centre directs its efforts towards five priority research areas, or "research thrusts," to ensure a smooth and efficient transition to a grid powered entirely by renewable energy.

The five research thrusts of the EPICS centre are:

Thrust 1 and 2

THRUST 1: Scale-up decision support

Addressing global stakeholder concerns, this thrust aims to develop high-fidelity power grid models and data-sharing mechanisms. The goal is to fuel stochastic optimization and machine learning routines that are scalable to a large number of distributed inverter-based and variable renewable energy resources. This ensures robust decision support for the large-scale deployment of solar, wind power, and storage resources.

THRUST 2: Model and integrate Inverter-based Resources

This thrust seeks to pioneer a dynamic modelling framework and associated tools for stability analysis, control design, and restoration of power grids with very high shares of inverter-based resources (IBRs). Leveraging the flexibility of IBRs, the aim is to develop methods for integrating these resources seamlessly into power grids while ensuring stability and reliability.

Thrust 3 to 5

THRUST 3: Develop new techno-economic principles

This research thrust is dedicated to developing, demonstrating, and transferring new principles and tools crucial for the net-zero transition. This includes coordinating operations and investment, harnessing demand-side and distributed energy resources flexibility, and managing queues for connecting new variable renewable energy resource projects. The objective is to establish economically viable and socially acceptable pathways for resilient multi-energy systems.

THRUST 4: Strategize pathways for net-zero transition

Recognizing the "deep uncertainty" associated with the net-zero transition, this thrust focuses on characterizing this uncertainty. Simultaneously, it devises cross-infrastructure solutions to facilitate natural gas, hydrogen, and power integration. The aim is to strengthen engineering-economic linkages and enhance the resiliency of multi-energy systems.