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Project Title:

Enhancing the Resilience of the Nation's Electric Power Transmission and Distribution (T&D) System
PIN: DEPS-BEES-15-01        

Major Unit:

Division on Engineering and Physical Sciences

Sub Unit: Board on Energy & Environmental Systems DEPS
Computer Science & Telecommuncations Board DEPS

RSO: Holmes, John

Subject/Focus Area: Energy and Energy Conservation; Engineering and Technology

Project Scope
An ad hoc National Research Council (NRC) committee will address technical, policy and institutional factors that might affect how modern technology can be implemented in the evolution of electric transmission and distribution (T&D) in the United States, and recommend strategies and priorities for how the nation can move to a more reliable and resilient T&D system. The committee will consider how existing and emerging technological options, including greater reliance on distributed power generation, could impact the reliability, robustness and the ability to recover from disruptions to the electrical T&D system, or systems. The study will identify barriers to implementing technology pathways for improving T&D reliability, key priorities and opportunities including, where necessary, those for research, development and demonstration (RD&D), the federal role, and strategies and actions that could lead to a more reliable and resilient T&D system. As part of this study the committee may:

(1) review recent studies and analysis of the current and projected status of the nation’s electric T&D system including any that identify significant technological concerns over vulnerability, reliability and resilience;

(2) assess factors affecting future requirements and trends for the nation's T&D infrastructure including such issues as the need for new capacity, replacement needs, siting issues, vulnerability to external threats and the need for security, whether physical or cyber, the alignment of costs and benefits, the effects of interconnectedness among regional networks, and others identified by the committee;

(3) evaluate the role existing and emerging technological options, especially of renewable and distributed generation technologies, can play in creating or addressing concerns identified by the committee and that can lead to enhanced reliability and resilience;

(4) consider how regional differences both in terms of the physical setting and the utility structure may impact solutions to improving resilience;

(5) review federal, state, industry, and academic R&D programs, as well as any demonstration and/or deployment efforts, focused on technologies for the T&D system that are aimed at improving its capacity, reliability, resilience, flexibility and any other attributes aimed at enhancing the robustness of the nation’s electric power T&D system;

(6) identify non-technological barriers (including those related to regulatory, ownership, and financial issues) to implementation of new and/or expanded technology to improve the stability, reliability, and resilience of electric T&D;

(7) suggest strategies, key opportunities and priorities, and actions for implementation of the identified technology pathways for the T&D system, which could include RD&D, policies, incentives, standards, and others the committee finds are necessary; and

(8) address the federal role, especially of DOE, in addressing the technical, policy and institutional issues for a transformation of the T&D system to one with increased robustness and resilience.

The committee will write a report documenting its findings and recommendations. An NRC-approved report will be issued by the National Academies approximately 18 months from the time funds are received to initiate the study.

Project Duration: 18 months    

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Committee Membership
Committee Membership

 Meeting 1 - 03/02/2016
 Meeting 2 - 05/11/2016
 Meeting 3 - 07/11/2016
 Meeting 4 - 09/29/2016
 Meeting 5 - 11/02/2016
 Meeting 6 - 02/15/2017


Reports having no URL can be seen
at the Public Access Records Office
Enhancing the Resilience of the Nation's Electricity System