At Google I helped define a distributed computing approach which scaled us more than 10,000x. As the grid makes a similar jump, from 1000s of reliable generators to millions of unreliable participants, what can we learn?
One of the privileges of working with great partners like Kit Carson Electric Cooperative Inc. is the opportunity to join their conversation with the local community. We were excited to meet recently with Net Metering Advisory group and Renewable Taos to share our work on understanding and managing the role of local solar generation in KCEC’s grid.
We just finished sharing thoughts on large scale monitoring and telemetry with MISO, and I wanted to share a few reflections on applying lessons from internet scale systems to managing the electrical grid.
Some of us have operational response backgrounds, which is helpful in small ways. We are used to handling crises and feel more in control when we have a plan. We had already sent people home before the shelter in place order came in.
The grid space is behind the curve in adopting contemporary software technology. The last ten years have seen a computing revolution - the cloud isn't just about using other people's computers, it's about using effectively unlimited computing power to solve the hardest problems.
The role of private sector innovation has never been more important. Dropping costs of renewables are finally beginning to drive a change in new energy investment, but the additional pressure on the current grid is producing negative impacts as well as opportunities. 2019 was the year in which California's biggest utility intentionally cut power to millions of people during a critical fire danger event.