Karen R. Forsten
Director, Power Delivery & Utilization EPRI,
Title:The Integrated Grid, Realizing the Full Potential of Central and Distributed Resources
The electric power system is changing with the rise of distributed energy resources (DER) connected to the distribution system. In many settings these distributed resources already affect the grid, and their projected expansion may significantly change the technical, operational, environmental and financial character of the electricity sector. To realize fully the value of distributed energy resources (DER) and to serve all consumers at established standards of quality and reliability, the need has arisen to integrate DER in the planning and operation of the electricity grid and to expand its scope to include DER operation-what EPRI is calling the Integrated Grid. EPRI has begun work on a three-phase initiative to provide stakeholders with information and tools that will be integral to the four areas of collaboration.
Phase I - A concept paper to align stakeholders on the main issues while outlining real examples to support open fact-based discussion. Input and review were provided by various stakeholders from the energy sector including utilities, regulatory agencies, equipment suppliers, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and other interested parties.
Phase II - A draft framework has been developed for assessing the benefits and costs of the combinations of technology that lead to a more integrated grid. This includes recommended guidelines, analytical tools and procedures for demonstrating technologies and assessing their unique costs and benefits. Such a framework is required to ensure consistency in the comparison of options and to build a comprehensive set of data and information that will inform the Phase III demonstration program. Phase II output will also support policy and regulatory discussions that may enable Integrated Grid solutions.
Phase III - Conduct global demonstrations and modeling using the analytics and procedures developed in Phase II to provide comprehensive data and information that stakeholders will need for the system-wide implementation of integrated grid technologies in the most cost effective manner.
This presentation will provide an overview of EPRI's Integrated Grid concept and share some of the work to date. Additionally, all aspects of this work are currently being communicated and discussed on our Integrated Grid Online Community, a collaborative that endeavors to provide a common ground for people who share an interest in the Integrated Grid. Here you will find technical and academic resources, news and events, insights from industry experts, and monthly discussion topics designed to spark dialogue and foster ideas that will help shape the future of our electric power grid.
Karen R. Forsten is Director, Government Coordination and Operations in the Power Delivery & Utilization Sector at the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI). Ms. Forsten is responsible for various cross-sector initiatives and strategies including a new effort focused on "The Integrated Grid, Realizing the Full Potential Value of Central and Distributed Resources". Previously Ms. Forsten was Director of Renewable Integration, Operations, Planning & Critical Power and responsible for a $20 million RD&D area, managing a team of 55 technical researchers and engineers focused in various areas including integration of renewables including bulk variable generation and wind to distributed photo voltaics, T&D efficiency for a lower carbon future, and operations & planning.
Ms. Forsten joined EPRI at its Power Electronics Applications Center (PEAC) in 1995 as a technical marketing specialist. She has also served previously with EPRI Solutions as an engineering project manager, Manager of Technical Transfer Services, and Director of Operations. Ms. Forsten has worked with EPRI members and other utilities around the globe on various technical issues and research including renewable integration, T&D efficiency, distribution reliability and quality of supply, power quality, and strategic technical business development. She is on the leadership team of the North American SynchroPhasor Initiative (NASPI) and interacts with University of Tennessee staff and faculty associated including the Center for Ultra-Wide Area Resilient Electric Energy Transmission Netowrks (CURENT).
Prior to joining EPRI, Ms. Forsten worked at Florida Power & Light in a number of engineering roles as well as TVA's Watts Bar Nuclear Plant. Ms. Forsten received her BEE (electrical engineering) degree from Auburn University in Alabama and is an active IEEE member. She is married and has two sons, 19 and 16.