In this project, the potential for reliability and efficiency enhancements in electric power systems is demonstrated by means of the NETSS AC Extended Optimal Power Flow (AC XOPF). A systematic optimization of both real and reactive power/voltage available resources, AC XOPF can be used as a powerful decision-making tool on what to build and/or control, as system conditions vary. This software can significantly enhance operations, both during normal and non-time critical contingency conditions, as well as planning. The project funders are being given cost-free licences of Version 1 NETSS AC XOPF software to enable their familiarization with its features and to assess potential benefits of adopting it. In addition, a reduced-measurement-based wide-area Automatic Voltage Control (AVC) is demonstrated as a possible means of ensuring robustness of voltage dispatch, with respect to deviations of reactive power loads from their forecast. Moving forward with both optimal voltage dispatch and AVC is necessary, given that decision software of this type is likely to become the backbone of future smart grids. These smart grids will be expected to respond continuously to ever-changing system conditions.
Keywords: AC optimal power flow, contingency analysis and management, corrective actions, partial load shedding, loss minimization, placement and sizing of capacitor banks, optimal planning, smart grids