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Caribbean Electricity

Utility Services Corporation

CARILEC provides training, conferences, consulting, information services and facilitates the conduct of
technical studies and networking among members.

We develop and promote programmes which advance the safe and efficient production,
transmission, distribution and utilization of electricity, paying particular attention to the issue
of environment protection and energy conservation.

P. O. Box CP5907, Desir Avenue, San Souci, Castries, St. Lucia, W. I.

Tel: ++(758)-452-0140/1 Fax: ++(758)-458-0142/458-0702

Advertising Sales Design & Production Executed by: Advertising & Marketing Services
P.O. Box 2003, Castries, St. Lucia; Tel 758-453-1149; Fax: 758-453-1290; Email:; Website:
CARILEC remaining committed to its stakeholders
4 Smart Grid – The Key Driver for a
Sustainable Energy Future by
From the second half of 2008 to the present we are still experiencing the Ravish P.Y. Mehairjan and Evita N.
effects of the worldwide economic downturn. However, I would like to state Parabirsing
that CARILEC is committed to satisfying the needs of its stakeholders no
matter what economic climate that exists. 14 Procuring Cost - Effective and
Climate-Friendly Electric Genera-
Consequently, based on the strategic plan that was developed in early 2008; tion in the Caribbean: A Primer by
CARILEC sought to undertake many tasks to improve services in the areas of Glenn J. Berger and J. Alexander
Marketing Member Services, Conferences, Training and Technical Services.
Each area of operations was assigned a group of tasks that will
assist its member utilities to develop and bolster some of 22 Engine Conversion Improves
Power Plant Efficiency. Fuel
their operational issues as identified under the plan. conversion from LFO to HFO
reduces fuel costs by Rainer
Not withstanding the above, renewable energy initia- Ahlvik of Wartsila.
tives are vigorously being pursued as well as with
de-regulation of the electric utilities within the 27 Prescriptive T&D maintenance
Caribbean looming not too far into the future; utilities Standards… Can Politics and
Policy Help to Encourage Reliabil-
must take stock of their operational proficiencies in
ity by Bob Bhutera of OSMOSE
preparing for the same. Utilities Services.

CARILEC is well poised to assist its member

utilities in many ways. In order to improve on this
30 Renewable Energy Essentials For
the Well Being of Small Island
position CARILEC must properly assess its present Developing States – Commission
structure, capacity and staffing to ensure that it on Sustainable Development by
can meet the demands placed on it. Appending United Nations Information
this CARILEC must adopt some quality manage- Service.
ment, control and assurance standards that
would ensure that whatever it pursues operation- 38 A Gas Fired Diesel Alternator
Power Station at Cove Industrial
ally and otherwise is efficient and effective and Estate, Tobago.
meets its customer’s needs.
44 Reflections on a Unified Field
As we look to the future with all its challenges, Theory or rather a Unified Theory
it is truly my hope that CARILEC keeps of Matter by Lawrence Benjamin,
abreast with the changing times. Project Manager – CARILEC.

Lawrence Benjamin, Chief Editor

Project Manager, CARILEC

June 24, 2009

Industry Journal 2
Smart Grid, the Key Driver for a Sustainble Energy Future
Ravish P.Y. Mehairjan
Evita N. Parabirsing
Delft University of Technology
Netherlands, January 2009
Under Supervision of:
Prof. Dr. Johan J. Smit - TU Delft
Dr. Siri Varadan - KEMA Inc.

Electricity is a remarkable product whose importance will only increase in the future. Predicting the future is a difficult task
and the question, “Will the electric grid be able to meet the future challenges”, is an important one. Electricity, no doubt,
will be one of the key drivers for solving 21st century challenges which include global climate change, new customer
requirements and new technology opportunities. With these challenges in mind, the vision for a smart grid is developed
to bring benefit to the electric power system. In this paper the definition, driving forces and the vision of the smart grid are
discussed. This paper finally makes it clear that the smart grid is a holistic approach addressing all facets of the electricity life
cycle. Furthermore, the smart grid will be a conglomeration of all systems that enables smooth transfer of information and
knowledge to ensure continuity in the flow of electricity to the end-user. A smart grid is required to provide efficient, clean,
plentiful, safe, more reliable and secure energy to power continued economic development with lessened environmental
impact …………


The grid as it is known, which stands for the nation’s power electric infrastructure, has served electricity for long time.
However, it is reaching its limitations and moreover it is an aging infrastructure. Furthermore, the power demand is increasing
and investments are not keeping up, limiting grid efficiency and reliability [1]. The grid is struggling to keep up. Added to this,
a compromised environment threatens us all. This implies the dependence of fossil fuels and emission of greenhouse gases
and global climate change.
The key solution for the above depicted challenges lie within cleaner and more fuel-efficient sources of generation
possibilities, more energy-efficient buildings and end-use appliances and equipment, and steadily increasing numbers of
plug-in hybrid electric vehicles. If we are to lose our carbon footprint and go towards a global sustainable environmental
electric system, clean and green renewable sources of energy like solar, wind and geothermal (just to mention a few) must be
integrated “smartly” into the grid.
However, without appropriate enabling technologies linking them to the grid, their potential will not be fully realized. This
is where the design for a future smart grid comes in. The smart grid of the future is expected to connect large and small
centralized and dispersed power sources together. They will link and coordinate generation close to users and far from users,
using solid state electronics to manage and deliver power and use automated control systems. The smart grid together with
the liberalization of the electric market and dispersed generation is expected to bring greater efficiency and value to the
power systems.

The future smart grids design will require significant work, thus meaning a revolution for the whole electricity system [3].
Subsequently, a whole new architecture is needed to create and enable a sustainable energy future.

1. General Aspects of the “Smart Grid”

1.1. What is a Smart Grid?

The future energy grid must overcome the increasing complexity, size and scale of the electrical power infrastructure
we know today. But to also achieve sustained energy independence it is important to reduce carbon emission by finding
sustainable domestic resources and providing reliable, consistent and broad access to the network. With the increasing fossil
energy prices, these resources become more affordable but they must be connected to an infrastructure that is sufficiently
intelligent to know when, how and who uses it.

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• “smarter grid”, which is more efficient in the short term and includes valuable technologies that are even applied today.
• “smart grid”, which on the long term causes for a total transformation of the existing grid and will assemble a future grid
that can be remarkable in its intelligence and has an impressive scope.

The overall ‘smart’ energy system of the future shall contain advanced monitoring and control systems, thus improving
system operation and reliability. These advanced control systems will introduce applications from the transmission energy
management system to control of costumer appliances and distributed generation. This will result in a transformation from
a centralized producer-controlled network to a network that is less centralized and more consumer-interactive. There are a
lot of definitions for the “smart grid” of the future but they all come down to one basic statement. According to KEMA1, the
definition is [2]:

“The smart grid is the networked application of digital technology to the energy delivery and consumption segments of
the utility industry. More specially, it incorporates advanced applications and the use of distributed energy resources,
communications, information management, and automated control technologies to modernize, optimize, and transform
the electric power infrastructure. The smart grid vision seeks to bring together these technologies to make the grid self-
healing, more reliable, safer, and more efficient, as well as to use intelligent meters and devices to empower customers to
use electricity more efficiently. It also seeks to contribute to a sustainable future with improvements to national security,
economic growth, and climate change.” Although many ideas are already in operation, the real breakthrough is yet to come.

...... Plentiful sustainable energy is probably a solution to a

majority of our problems……With energy we can solve our
problems, without it everything start to fall apart……..
1.2. Driving Forces behind the Smart Grid

Environment: Nowadays the largest part of gener- Operational Excellence: Increasing competition on the en-
ated power comes from conventional energy sources, ergy market will encourage efficiency and thus, will lead to
which have the disadvantage that fossil fuels emit technological progress and innovation. Also customer’s in-
CO2, SO2, NOx and other pollutants. These emis- terest in affordability, benefits and on-line control will lead
sions cause climate change and form the greatest to the design and development of a new power system.
environmental and economic challenges today. An
important driver behind the Smart Grid is the regu-
lation of environmental, public health, and safety
consequences of electricity production, delivery and
use. From this point of view, possibilities must be
developed to stimulate investments and installation of
new clean electricity technologies.

Figure 1: Overview of the driving forces behind the Smart Grid [2].

Reliability & Quality of supply: Today’s society strongly depends on a reliable, secure and high quality energy
supply. However, the existing grid is aging and becoming more complex, which endangers the security and
reliability of the energy supply. Hence, if no action is taken conventional large scale power plants remain
the source of control for electricity operation and this approach will be unable to provide the flexibility,
controllability and availability needed for the future energy system. In order to insure the reliability and quality
of supply, the electricity grids need to be redesigned to shift from traditional central control to a new more
distributed control model.

1.3. The Smart Grid Vision

The vision holds the latest technologies while keeping flexibility to further developments. According to [1] and
[3], to meet the needs of the future, the electricity network must thus be:

• Flexible – meeting the needs of the consumers, while accommodating the changes and challenges ahead.

• Accessible – giving opportunity to all network users, especially for renewable power sources and high
efficiency local generation with no CO2 footprints. Also accommodating energy storage systems devices

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• Efficient – capable of meeting increased customer demand without adding infrastructure.
• Reliable – assuring and improving security and quality of supply.
• Economic – providing the investment returns through innovation, efficient energy management and equal
competition and regulation.
• Quality Focused – delivering the necessary power quality e.g. free of sags, spikes, disturbances and interruptions.
• Self-healing – must be able to detect and solve problems itself. By having devices that improve the situational
awareness of the grid operator so they can respond more quickly to problems and prevent cascading outages.
• Resilient – increasingly resistant to attack and natural disaster as it becomes more decentralized and reinforced
with security protocols.

According to [1] the adoption of the smart grid will enhance every facet of the electric delivery system including
generation, transmission, distribution and consumption. In fact, the main (ideal) goal would be to have clean
sources of generation (centralized and distributed) connected to a flexible electricity grid using power electronics,
giving sufficient possibilities to control energy flows and demands.

Added to this, the smart grid must also have the ability to precisely monitor and control the grid, e.g. using SCADA
and other automation and communication methods. Furthermore, it should include state of the art on- line
condition monitoring possibilities to perform efficient asset management strategies. It will help the initiatives of
the utilities to encourage smart end users to modify their electricity usage pattern, including the timing and level
of electricity demand with advanced and smart metering systems. Ultimately, the smart grid will offer a two way
visibility and control of energy usage. Figure 2 clearly illustrates all above mentioned aspects that should lead to a
smart grid.

Figure 2: The overall vision to a future ‘smart’ electricity grid.

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1.4. Technologies that will build up the Smart Grid

The individual elements, as illustrated in figure 2, that work together to obtain an intelligent grid of the future, will be
discussed in this section. In general, this section is based on [3], [4] and [5].

1.4.1. Smart Generation

• Distributed Generation (Renewable Sources)

The climate change and reduction of greenhouse emissions gasses are the major challenges for the sustainable
energy future. Because of this the need for more distributed renewable energy sources is critical. Available
technologies nowadays are large scale on- and off-shore wind energy generation, hydro power, bio-mass,
photovoltaic, nuclear energy, etc. On customer level new technologies are emerging, which will increase their
power quality and reliability and possibilities to control their costs, to mention a few: solar modules, small wind
turbines, micro turbines and fuel cells. Mass-scale distributed generation will depend on growth of cleaner and
zero emission technologies.

• Energy Storage

The power system is mostly operated as a just in time energy delivery system, because electricity cannot be
economically stored yet. However, the energy storage research is in progress and if economically feasible it will
bring revolutionary changes to the design and operation of electrical power systems. Through the smart grid the
integration of economical energy storage devices could reduce peak load problems, improve electrical stability,
and eliminate power quality disturbances. Some examples of energy storage with promising potentials are:
compressed air energy storage (CAES), pumped accumulation (PAC). Also of note is the potential of lithium-ion
batteries for Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEV).

• Advanced Power Electronics

High-voltage power electronics allow precise and rapid switching of electrical power. Power electronics form an
important link between energy storage and the electrical grid. Additionally, power electronics are the keystone to
Flexible Alternating Current Transmission Systems (FACTS), or power flow controllers, that improve power system
control, and help increase power transfer levels. Another application of power flow controllers is the so called
“smart wires”, where the impedance of transmission lines is affected in order to control the current flow. New
advanced power electronics are needed to lower the costs of these systems, and accelerate their application on the

1.4.2. Transmission & Distribution (T&D)

• Grid Monitoring
For efficient T&D operation real-time information of the grid behavior is required. To achieve this, sensors must
be embedded throughout the grid from generation and transmission lines to substations and distribution network.
Having the possibility to obtain real time information enables fast diagnostics and detection of abnormalities in
the grid. Effective grid monitoring will provide a powerful tool to utilize the grid optimally and thus improving grid
reliability and economics.

• Demand Response

Traditionally, power systems are operated in such a way that power generation meets load demand. However, it
could also be the other way around, by giving customers the possibility to actively participate in making their own
decision regarding their energy consumption behavior. In general, this means creating a two-way communication
between power providers and power customers which will lead to a more flexible way to adjust power patterns.
Due to the two-way communication customers can receive financial incentives to reduce power consumption
during peak hours or other critical situations. They can do this by dropping consumption or replacing grid power
with distributed generation. So the two-way communication through the smart grid can turn out to be beneficial to
both the utility and the customer.
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However, it is important to keep in mind that this should also be the expectation of both utilities and customers.

• Communication Networks

To fully benefit from the opportunities of the future smart grid, the communication network will play a very important
role. In order to send and receive information from smart devices, installed throughout the smart grid, communication
methods using cables, fiber optics and even wireless systems can be used. They carry information among smart
devices that allow them to respond to grid conditions, offer services to the grid and make economic transactions. To
have safe and reliable communication, certain levels of security and protection systems should also be considered.

• Asset Management

The existing T&D infrastructure is aged and this forms a major concern globally. Despite this, most of the equipment
still shows potential for useful performance in the upcoming years. Extensive asset management strategies have been
pursued to give T&D assets longer lifetime. Subsequently, a shift from time based maintenance (TBM) to condition
based maintenance (CBM) is required in order to reduce the costs of operations and maintenance. To be able to
predict critical and abnormal situations of T&D equipment, all necessary information will be needed. This can
be done by installing sensors on equipments and analyzing the right information e.g. effective on-line condition
monitoring systems.

1.4.3. Smart End Use

• Smart Meters

In general the smart meter is an advanced meter that represents the energy consumption in more detail than
conventional electric meters. These meters record power usage digitally over a period of time (e.g. a day) and have
the ability to report it by telecommunication. This makes it possible to get value from two-way communication and
supporting distributed technologies and consumer participation. The possibility of information transaction between
utility and consumers can influence the load pattern, especially during high peak periods, by providing economic
incentives to shift power out of the peaks. Typically, smart meters will provide a more efficient use of electricity by the
customers and will also give the utilities the ability to detect and operate problems in their systems more efficiently.

• Smart Buildings and Equipments

Buildings and equipments, e.g. motors, can also be equipped with smart technologies which will balance their energy
generation and conservation. These technologies will enable building and equipment monitoring leading to optimal
operation efficiency and automatic participation in demand response programs.

• Smart Appliances

Home equipment can be combined with smart applications that receive signals from the grid so that they can operate
with high efficiency and when power rates are lower. This can lead to a dramatic increase of grid reliability. Some
typical applications are smart water heaters and air conditioners that are able to cycle down to reduce peak loads. In
progress are similar applications for refrigerators, dishwashers, stand-by systems, power supplies, cloth washers/dryers,

• Plug-in Hybrids

Reducing large quantity of CO2 emission and large scale oil consumption can be realized by Plug-in Hybrid Electric
Vehicles (PHEV), which contains batteries that can be charged by plugging onto an electrical power source (the grid).
Plugging these future automotive devices onto the smart grid will also create the potential to sell back stored energy to
the grid when required. The costumer will save costs when charging their batteries during hours when electricity prices
are lower than fuel prices and feed back this stored energy during peak hours with high electricity prices. Likewise the
utility benefits from these energy reserves that are reliable and instantaneous.

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After putting all the pieces of the puzzle together, the opportunities of the future smart grid may be visualized as follows [1]:

Figure 3: Illustration of the opportunities of the Future

DOE’s basic requirements for smart grid. Smart Grid [1] (Courtesy of Department of Energy).
The 7 functions are:

√ Enable active participation by consumers

√ Accommodate all generation and storage options
√ Enable new products, services and markets
√ Provide power quality for the digital economy
√ Optimize asset utilization and operate efficiently
√ Anticipate & respond to system disturbances “We need a New Grid, we need Smarter util-
(self-heal) ity leaders, Smarter houses, Smarter cities,
√ Operate resiliently against attack and natural Smarter networks and infrastructures……
disaster ………………………Connect them together
and we have a Smarter Grid”

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1.5. Comparison between Today’s Grid and the Future Smart Grid

It is evident that transferring from today’s grid to the future smart grid will bring along many changes. A comparison, accord-
ing to [2], between the traditional characteristics and the smart grid characteristics are given in the following table.

Table 1: Summarized comparison between the different characteristics of today’s grid and the future smart grid [2] (Courtesy of KEMA Inc).

2. Concluding Remarks

During the research and writing of this paper, we came to the following conclusions:

• The Smart Grid can be an important key to achieve a sustainable energy future. It will help the reduction of CO2
emission and make better use of distributed renewable energy sources on macro and micro level. Subsequently, it will
create new opportunities for customers, governments, markets and utilities.

• The vision for the design of the future smart grid must be flexible, accessible, efficient, reliable, economic, quality-
focused, self-healing and resilient. In general, this will need an approach on national, international and global level and
will require the readjustment of the current electricity network structures.

• Adopting the future smart grid will include an enhancement and improvement of every facet of the smart grid, from
smart generation to smart transmission and distribution till smart end-use. Nevertheless, it is important to note that all
the improvements must come with high level of security and speed to have a robust and reliable power system. This
must be realized by transforming the existing grid while keeping the investments as low as possible.

• The smart grid can be seen as the culmination of all technologies – communication (wired & wireless), software and
hardware, process and IT that enables efficiency and smooth transfer of information and knowledge to ensure continuity
and reliability at minimum cost to the end user.

• The opportunities of the future smart grid can be significant and can be a key driver to a sustainable energy future. It’s a
key success where technology will go together with organization capabilities and regulatory & market issues.

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[1] U.S. Department of Energy “The smart grid: An Introduction”

[2] KEMA presentation, 28 December 2008 Power Systems Conference Clemson, SC 29634 by Rob Wilhite and Siri Varadan,
“Industry Perspective of UoF (Utility of the Future) Programs”.

[3] European Commission, Directorate-General for Research Sustainable Energy Systems, “European Smart Grid Technology \
Platform, Vision and Strategy for Europe’s Electricity Networks of the Future”.

[4] A Special Report from Climate Solutions, by Patrick Mazza Research Director “Powering Up the Smart Grid” - A
Northwest Initiative for Job Creation, Energy Security and Clean, Affordable Electricity.

[5] United States Department of Energy Office of Electric Transmission and Distribution, July 2003, “GRID 2030” A

Ravish P.Y. Mehairjan was born in Paramaribo, Suriname, on April 11,
1987. He graduated Cum Laude as B.Sc in Electrical Power Engineering
at the Anton de Kom University of Suriname in July 2008. Momentarily
he is an M.Sc student in Electrical Power Engineering at the Delft
University of Technology in the Netherlands.

Evita N. Parabirsing was born in Paramaribo, Suirname on the 18th of

November 1985. She finished her B.Sc in Electrical Power Engineering
in July 2008 on the Anton de Kom University of Suriname. She is
currently an M.Sc student in Electrical Power Engineering on the Delft
University of Technology in the Netherlands.

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