Xie receives NSF grant for research on alternative methods of integrating renewable energy sources

With the rising cost and push for more "green" energy, an assistant professor from the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Texas A&M University is researching alternative, more cost-effective methods of integrating variable renewable energy sources.Dr. Le XieDr. Le Xie, the sole principal investigator recently received a grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) for his project, "Look-Ahead Coordination of Variable Resources for Providing Electric Energy and Regulation Services."Xie also had a paper with his co-authors, "Wind energy integration in power systems: operational challenges and possible solutions," accepted by the Proceedings of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE)."We have worked on the area of cost effective approach to integrating variable energy resources such as wind and solar," Xie said. "I received the grant to investigate further on how to extract the most value from these variable generation resources in providing sustainable electricity services."The objective of Xie's research is to investigate a novel look-ahead operating paradigm which enables the participation of variable energy resources such as wind and solar power in both energy balancing and a variety of ancillary services, which are necessary for reliable operations in power grid. Their research is important as more and more states begin to set higher standards for sustainable energy and green technology in their energy portfolios. California, for instance, recently enacted a target of 30 percent of energy to be generated via renewable resources by 2020."By leveraging a near-term more accurate forecast of these resources, we were able to show that the new approach to dispatching these resources can be much more cost effective than today's method," Xie said. "That means annual saving scales of millions of dollars for states like Texas."Xie said his research could have an even broader impact. The vision of this project will make the societal goals of Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS) into affordable and clean realization in the near future. He also plans to continue the development of a new course on engineering and economics of sustainable energy systems and he will help start a university-wide student energy organization aiming at raising students' awareness of energy systems innovations."As a co-founder of my graduate school's student energy organization, I had the opportunity of experiencing the grass-root momentum towards sustainable energy among the student body, and I am even more impressed by the students' enthusiasm towards energy here at Texas A&M," Xie said.Xie is affiliated with the Electric Power and Power Electronic Group in the department. He received his B.E. in electrical engineering from Tsinghua University, Beijing, China in 2004. He received S.M. in engineering sciences from Harvard University in June 2005. He obtained his Ph.D. from the electric energy systems group (EESG) in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University in 2009.His industry experience includes an internship in 2006 at ISO-New England and an internship at Edison Mission Energy Marketing and Trading in 2007. His research interest includes modeling and control of large-scale complex systems, smart grid applications in support of renewable energy integration and electricity markets. http://www.ece.tamu.edu/NewsAndEvents/Newsletter/Vol11No2/news_xie.php