PNNL Chief Engineer Jeff Dagle was one of 17 committee members—and the sole national laboratory representative—charged with developing the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine report "I Enhancing the Resiliency of the Nation's Electric Power Transmission and Distribution System."
"Resiliency is reducing the magnitude and duration of impact to events, and measuring resilience means that you are measuring things that have not yet occurred. It speaks to preparedness."
Dagle and two other committee members, Dr. M. Granger Morgan of Carnegie Mellon University and Bill Sanders of the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, presented the report to Congress and the Department of Energy on July 19. The report was released publicly on July 20, followed by a webinar presented by the trio to outline the report results.
"Reliability and resilience are closely related but while reliability focuses on service interruptions, resilience is more difficult to measure," said Dagle. "Resiliency is reducing the magnitude and duration of impact to events, and measuring resilience means that you are measuring things that have not yet occurred. It speaks to preparedness."
Over the past 18 months, the committee considered how existing and emerging technological options, including greater reliance on distributed power generation, could impact the reliability and the ability to recover from disruptions to the system.
"Resilient infrastructure is robust to all hazards, ranging from storms to malicious events," said Dagle. "Even from threats that are not envisioned. That is what makes its design challenging and interesting."
The report also identifies non-technological barriers—regulatory, ownership, and financial issues—to implementation of new or expanded technology to improve the stability, reliability, and resilience of electric transmission and distribution. The committee suggests strategies, key opportunities and priorities, and actions for implementation of the identified technology pathways.