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Consortium of global power system operators launched to help cut worldwide emissions by 50%

Image: National Grid.

Image: National Grid.

Power system operators from across the world, including National Grid ESO, have teamed up to launch a consortium dedicated to reducing emissions.

The Global Power System Transformation Consortium (G-PST) has been set up with an aim of contributing >50% emission reductions from all pollutants globally over the next 10 years.

It will do this by enabling the integration of substantial clean energy investments into power systems, with the hopes of “dramatically” accelerating the transition to low emission, low cost, secure and reliable power systems.

The CEOs of six system operators are leading the consortium, with National Grid ESO, Ireland’s EirGrid, the Australia Energy Market Operator (AMEO), California Independent System Operator (CAISO), Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) and Denmark’s System Operator (Energinet) leading the group.

Specific aims of the consortium have been outlined, with a comprehensive research agenda set to be published and used to seek multimillion dollar funding with plans to start work in early 2021.

National Grid ESO’s director Fintan Slye explained that the consortium’s research agenda will be “holistic and driven by making it all work together”.

Clean energy technology standards and testing approaches are also to be localised in partnership with developing countries through global and regional knowledge exchange, capacity building and targeted technical assistance.

Alongside this, the consortium is to scale up dissemination and use of high-quality open source tools and data through peer learning and knowledge sharing and develop new and cutting-edge open tools to support advanced system operation.

Slye continued to explain: "Through the consortium, we’ll scale up global research collaboration on cutting-edge technical innovations in areas such as real-time intelligent control applications and state-of-the-art power electronics that will enhance the reliability and accelerate our transitions to best-in-class, low emission reliable power systems".

The six system operators leading the consortium are to partner with over 25 other system operators from Africa, Asia, Latin America, Eastern Europe and other regions. Those that are from emerging and developing countries will engage in technical collaboration, the aforementioned peer learning and workforce development.

In particular, the G-PST consortium is looking to launch technical support partnerships with system operators in 10 emerging and developing countries, with collaborative activities to support control room upgrades already underway with Indonesia’s system operator, Perusahaan Listrik Negara (PLN).

As part of its activities in the developing world, the consortium will finalise forward-looking topics to be covered in a cutting-edge power sector curriculum in consultation with system operators and universities.

Alongside this, the consortium will also be working with research and educational institutions from around the world. The core technical team includes Imperial College London, the Energy Systems Integration Group, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and the Latin American Energy Organisation among others.

The consortium was announced during the BloombergNEF Summit, with CEO of the Australia Energy Market Operator, Audrey Zibelman, stating during the event that whilst countries around the world are looking to pursue a path towards a low emissions system, they face “significant challenges in acquiring and applying the technical knowledge needed to operate and plan rapidly transforming power systems”.

“This consortium will help meet this need by engaging key power system operators, applied research and educational institutions, governments, businesses, and stakeholders from developed and developing countries to accelerate clean energy transitions at the ambitious scope and scale that is required.”

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