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Smart Grid Seminar: Grid Enhancing Technologies – Applications for Transmission Asset Optimization and Policy Obstacles

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Event Details:

There isn’t enough transmission capacity today to deliver all the renewable energy on the grid, much less plug in the terawatts of resources in interconnection queues. Utilities and system operators are turning to Grid Enhancing Technologies (GETs) to unlock additional capacity on existing infrastructure. GETs are hardware and software that increase the capacity, efficiency, and reliability of the transmission grid. Deploying these technologies will be key to reducing renewable curtailment and achieving decarbonization goals. Dr. Hui Zhang, Director for Power System Insights at AES Corporation, will discuss how dynamic line ratings, advanced power flow control and topology optimization address challenges in grid operations, planning, and generation interconnection. Julia Selker, Executive Director of the WATT Coalition, will explain how the structure of the electricity industry and its regulation currently impede investment in asset efficiency through GETs. 

Speaker Bios

Hui Zhang is a Power Systems Insights Director at AES Next, where he leads technical analysis and delivers insights on the implementation of Grid-Enhancing Technologies (GETs) to address challenges in grid operations, planning, and generation interconnection. Hui previously served as a manager of Operations Engineering and Energy Imbalance Market (EIM) operations at Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD). His earlier roles included key positions at the California ISO and Appian Way Energy Partners. Hui holds a PhD in Electrical Engineering from Arizona State University, and an MBA from UC Berkeley. Hui is a NERC Certified System Operator, a Professional Engineer (PE) licensed in California, and an IEEE Senior Member.

Julia Selker is Executive Director of the WATT Coalition, leading policy work, advocacy and communications. She is also Director of Policy and Strategy and Chief Operating Officer for Grid Strategies. In this role she facilitates new business, coordinates the Future Power Markets Forum, as well as supporting other clients. She previously worked for the technology startup Faraday Grid, after an internship with Congressman Peter DeFazio focused on energy and climate policy. Prior to coming to Washington, DC, Julia worked on the launch of Monterey Bay Community Power through the public relations agency Miller Maxfield, Inc., in Santa Cruz, California. Julia previously worked for the Bulleit Group, a San Francisco public relations agency. She has a bachelor’s degree in physics from Reed College.