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SG HorsmanThe focus of the fifth annual Smart Grid Workshop on the Texas A&M University campus was using smart grids big data. The workshop was organized by the Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station’s (TEES) Smart Grid Center after receiving a $1 million grant from the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Big Data Spokes Program to extend collaboration and innovation using big data for the smart power grid area.

The significance of smart grids big data is in the diversity of its sources, growth rate, correlations and spatiotemporal (belonging to space and time) characteristics. Big data is measured all over and monitored at a fine temporal scale in smart electric grids, but largely unexploited for its transformational impact in discovering new knowledge and solutions resulting in major SG Audienceimprovements in smart grid operation (e.g., power generation and distribution, renewable energy interfacing, transmission grid resiliency) and smart grid user necessities (microgrids, smart cities, transportation, etc.). The use of big data in implementing the automation of data analytics and data management, and the implementation and benefits of utilizing big data in advanced power grids were discussed at the workshop.

As invited keynote speaker, Todd Horsman, senior director of strategy and product development at CPS Energy, discussed “Data and the Evolving Utility Business Model.”

SG NowkaDuring lunch, the featured speaker was Kevin Nowka, director of IBM Research in Austin, who discussed “Big Data Landscape: Challenges and Opportunities.” Panel sessions included the topics “Big Data Availability and Management,” “International Experiences: Synchrophasors BD,” “Data Analytics and Tools” and “Future Efforts.” Posters reflecting on graduate student research areas and outcomes were also presented, and participants attended focus group sessions on topics related to big data.

Poster session“This event was a great start toward forming a global partnership for big data research, education and training relevant to the smart grids, which the NSF grant was awarded for,” said Dr. Mladen Kezunovic, principal investigator of the NSF grant and director of the Smart Grid Center. “We are quite happy to serve as coordinators, together with PIs
from Temple University and the Georgia Institute of Technology, and expand the network of over 100 organizations and 200 individuals that have shown their interest so far.”

Overall, 130 people attended the workshop, including participants from Texas A&M, government and non-profit organizations and industry. For more information about the workshop, visit the Smart Grid Center’s website. The next workshop on the topic will take place in April 2018.