Full Title: Creating a Smarter U.S. Electricity Grid
Author(s): Paul L. Joskow
Publication Date: October 1, 2011
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The U.S. electric power system consists of a well defined set of basic components. Electricity is “manufactured” in generating plants. These generating plants are now typically located relatively far from where the electricity is consumed. The high voltage transmission network both “transports” electricity from where it is produced to locations closer to where it is consumed and allows for the economical and reliable integration of dispersed generating facilities connected to the same synchronized. Alternating Current (AC) transmission network. Electricity is then delivered to lower voltage sub-transmission transmission lines, and ultimately to even lower voltage local distribution networks where it is supplied to end-use consumers or “retail customers.” There is a transmission “system operator” for each “control area” or “balancing authority” with responsibility to schedule and dispatch generating units based on economic and reliability criteria, to manage congestion on the network by re-dispatching generators “out of merit order” to meet transmission constraints, to maintain the physical parameters of the network, to coordinate with neighboring system operators, and in some cases to integrate these tasks with the management of a set of wholesale power markets.