Optimal utilization of the infrastructures that keep the lights on, e.g. T&D and ICT, is a much more complex task today than it was when computers were introduced in power grid operations as a result of the first major blackout in the U.S. in 1965. Industry restructuring, the formation of electricity markets, and new regulatory and energy policies result in new business models and business practices for grid operation. Examples of such policies include the recently passed Energy Policy Act (EPAct)2005 in the US, and Renewable Portfolio Standards in the EU, many parts of the US and other countries to meet Kyoto requirements and the growing public awareness of climate change issues. The implementation of these policies sometimes introduce new problems, e.g. integration of large-scale wind plants, which can not be solved with existing computational techniques. Increased bulk power transactions across different regions and RTOs/TSOs require integrated large system models which can affect the performance of existing ICT infrastructures. Recent blackouts around the world underscored the importance of wide-area visibility to understand the impacts of local and global events, i.e. enhanced situational awareness. Volumes of real-time data being generated must be processed and the relevant information presented to grid, market and asset operators for making informed, coordinated and timely decisions. More and more control center operators are asking for increased operational foresight and would like the ability to "predict" system behavior. These and other trends lead to challenging computational problems that require more research and/or applications of new technologies. This lecture will review closer several of these trends in the power industry and discuss the related computational challenges. Examples of advances being made to address some of the challenges which ultimately mitigate operational risks (financial and physical) and ensure grid reliability will be examined.

Lawrence E. Jones joined AREVA T&D Inc. (formerly ALSTOM T&D) in 2000. He is currently Manager, Utility Practice and Strategic Initiatives including Wind Power and Decision Support Systems for Control Centers. He also served as Director of the Transmission & Distribution Optimization and Partnering (TOP) Program formed as a result of the August 14, 2003 Power Blackout in US and Canada. He was previously Senior Product Marketing Manager and his responsibility included management of solutions and products involving Information Technology for real-time operations and control of power systems and electricity markets; he was also responsible for several new technology initiatives including Electricity Market Monitoring and Surveillance.

He is Affiliate Assistant Professor at the Department of Electrical Engineering, University of Washington (UW), in Seattle. He is Vice Chairman of the Board of the Advanced Power Technologies Research Consortium (APT) at the University of Washington. He is Member of the US Working Group for a “A Marshall Plan for Energy and Water Supply in Developing Countries” ­ a Program of The Atlantic Council of the United States. He has given numerous lectures, seminars and participated on several international panels at conferences in Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia and the US.

Dr. Jones has published several articles in journals and proceedings from internationally recognized conferences. His research interests include dynamics and economics of networked systems; optimizing power transmission and distribution grid reliability; intelligent systems applications in grid operations, integrating wind plants in power systems, design and applications of sustainable energy systems for developing countries, impact of electricity regulatory policies on electric utilities business models and operations, and application of modern grid technologies.

Prior to joining AREVA, Dr. Jones worked as a consultant for ABB Power Systems in Sweden in 1999. He was a visiting scientist at Electricite de France in Clamart, France in 1997. He is co-founder of the International Workshop on Large-Scale Integration of Wind Power and Transmission Networks for Off Shore Wind Farms, and the International Symposium on Distributed Generation: Power Systems and Markets Aspects. He served as the Chairman of the Industry Task Force on Developing Stability Models for Wind Power Plants established by Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), the Independent System Operator in Texas, USA.

Dr. Jones is a Senior Member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) . He is a member of the IEEE Power Engineering and Control System Societies. He serves as Executive Director of the Emmanuel E. W. Jones, Jr. Electrical Engineering Foundation. He attended Cuttington University College and the University of Liberia 1982 ­ 1984; and received MSc., Licentiate of Engineering, and Ph.D degrees in electrical engineering from the Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm Sweden, in 1994, 1997 and 1999, respectively.