Stanford University 2021 Shultz Energy Fellowships

WIEB Research Project: Transmission Line Ratings in the West

The Shultz Energy Fellowships program provides an opportunity for students from Stanford University to partner with host organizations such as the Western Interstate Energy Board. This program’s objective is for students to make an impact in the energy and climate space in the West.

The goal of WIEB’s 2021 project with the Shultz Fellowship is to explore the barriers to implementing dynamic line ratings in the Western Interconnection. The student team of Shultz fellows will lead the WIEB effort to identify the technical, economic, and policy barriers to implementing dynamic line ratings in the West.

Transmission line ratings represent the maximum transfer capability of each transmission line. These ratings, and the rules by which they are established, are practices that directly affect the cost of wholesale electricity, capacity, and ancillary services. Inaccurate transmission line ratings may result in increased costs to electricity consumers and increased risk to the reliability of the bulk electric system.

Transmission line ratings are often based on seasonal or static assumptions that do not accurately reflect the near-term transfer capability of the system. If a transmission line rating based on static assumptions is less than its actual transfer capability based on near-term system conditions, then flows may be unnecessarily restricted and costs to electricity consumers unreasonably high.

Alternatively, if a transmission line rating based on static assumptions is greater than its actual transfer capability based on near-term system conditions, then allowable flows may be overstated creating potential reliability and safety problems. In either case, implementing dynamic transmission line ratings that more accurately represent the transfer capability of the transmission system could potentially result in significant economic and reliability benefits.

Expert Interviews

We are currently conducting anonymous expert interviews about dynamic line rating and related topics. Our objective is to assess how the relevant decision-makers and those who influence them view the barriers to DLR adoption.

Resources

The following external resources provide background knowledge on the problem.

Contact

If you are an expert looking to schedule an interview with the research team, here is the link: https://calendly.com/dlrshultz. For more general information, please contact Maury Galbraith at WIEB: mgalbraith@westernenergyboard.org

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