December 13, 2016

Workshop Pursues Framework for Building Better Grid Tools

5th Workshop on Next-Generation Analytics for the Future Power Grid held at PNNL


A recent gathering of industry and research experts at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory took important steps toward creating advanced computational tools to analyze and support power grid operation and planning, which ultimately will help ensure the grid’s reliability and efficiency.

The 5th Workshop on Next-Generation Analytics for the Future Power Grid(Offsite link) was held November 9-10. Over the two days, participants reviewed a proposed computational framework that will provide the foundation for developing a range of grid tools. The framework leverages two PNNL-developed technologies—the GridOPTICS™ Software System (GOSS), which will provide data management capabilities, and GridPACK™, which will ingest and convert data into equations that define grid-related problems that need to be solved. The participants concurred on the direction of the proposed framework and further recommended a “plug-n-play” feature for user flexibility. The participants also identified “use cases”—or examples of practical applications—that will be employed to test and validate the framework’s functionality.

“The framework will connect data from the power grid to computing and visualization resources, which will allow grid operators to readily observe power system activities and make informed decisions, resulting in more optimal grid performance,” says PNNL’s Henry Huang. “The framework also will help address challenges in how to leverage latest advancements in mathematics and computing for grid optimization, dynamics, and uncertainty quantification.”


Huang organized the event with Mihai Anitescu of Argonne National Laboratory. Anitescu leads the Computational Science for Grid Management project, which sponsored the workshop as part of the Department of Energy’s Grid Modernization Laboratory Consortium through funding from the Department’s Grid Modernization Initiative. Huang notes that industry stakeholders have expressed strong interest in continuing to work with the project to advance the workshop objectives.

The event builds upon the work of PNNL’s Future Power Grid Initiative, a five-year effort that concluded in September of 2015 and produced the GridOPTICS™(Offsite link) tool suite. GridOPTICS™ tools are designed to convert grid-related data into information that can be used by operators to enhance grid reliability and efficiency. FPGI organized the four previous workshops.

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About PNNL

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory draws on its distinguishing strengths in chemistry, Earth sciences, biology and data science to advance scientific knowledge and address challenges in sustainable energy and national security. Founded in 1965, PNNL is operated by Battelle for the Department of Energy’s Office of Science, which is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States. DOE’s Office of Science is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, visit For more information on PNNL, visit PNNL's News Center. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram.