Emera Technologies LLC, a subsidiary of Emera Inc. (TSX:EMA), is collaborating with the US Department of Energy, the US Department of Defense, and Sandia National Laboratories to refine and demonstrate a hybrid DC/AC distribution-level Digital Energy Platform. This platform is comprised of strategic electrical circuits that integrate current and future Nanogrids through novel interconnection devices to create safe, secure and renewable-centric community microgrids designed to be owned and operated by electric utility companies. Aim/Objective Mr. Oppedahl will explain how Emera Technologies’ BLOCK platform, currently being demonstrated at a US Air Force base, helps ensure continuity of services in the face of widespread and coordinated threats by establishing strategic electrical circuits, providing high-fidelity data monitoring and analysis, and implementing advanced cyber-physical threat analytics. The layering and distribution of nanogrids and microgrids provides a resilient layout where circuits can be segregated and remain energized when the bulk grid is unavailable.
Method: Audience Interaction This presentation will show, in real time, the advantages of a DC/AC hybrid microgrid in lowering costs and increasing reliability and resilience while beginning to protect our nation’s critical energy supply from threats due to extreme weather and intentional cyber and physical attacks. Mr. Oppedahl will give a multimedia presentation that will feature a secure, live link to the real-time monitors built into Emera’s Digital Energy Platform pilot project. The link will show current generation and storage levels at integrated assets, demonstrate the control system, and feature a “switch” that will take the system completely off the main AC grid and back in real time. Results Modern utility customers are demanding reliable, low-cost electricity with a high level of renewable generation. To that end, many are installing household generation and storage “behind the meter,” slowing load growth and producing challenging dynamics for grid operators. The audience will understand how Emera’s platform, which supports 50-100 loads, makes community level, “front of the meter” distribution and storage feasible and appropriate for subdivision developers and utilities while taking advantage of the higher efficiency, enhanced safety, greater reliability, and better security inherent in a DC system. Conclusion This demonstration will show that clean, affordable, safer, and always-on electricity is available at the community level as well as the utility level through a hybrid DC/AC system that is less vulnerable to threats from weather and cyber-attacks. The enhanced security of the system has made it attractive to the US Department of Defense, where it is part of a US Air Force pilot project. Plans are in place to install this Digital Energy Platform in a new residential subdivision this year. The controls and analytics are available through a secure remote connection and will be demonstrated in real time during the presentation.