Grid of the future

Visualizing the operations of a virtual power plant to illustrate what the future of the electrical grid could look like.

How can we visualize the intricate operations of a distributed energy system to inform and educate?

Maps are compelling. By visually connecting the local and the global, they empower us to comprehend large, complex systems with interdependent components and our position within them.

One such system is the electrical grid. Thousands of power plants, millions of miles of transmission lines, hundreds of millions of buildings, and billions of appliances make up one of the most intricate networks humanity has ever created.

Major shifts in building technology, energy generation, and mobility are reshaping our cities. As the built environment evolves, so do our expectations of the grid as one of the systems supporting modern life.

It is becoming clear that future-proofing the grid will require high-fidelity mapping of the interaction between the built environment and the energy system.

This video presentation was developed with Ed McCullough during my time at NRG Energy. It uses Rutland, VT as a case study to illustrate how distributed energy resources can operate together to form a virtual power plant and offer energy flexibility to a small community.

Distributed energy is inherently a geospatial problem.