2023 Fall General Meeting

Hosted by: Clemson University


November 6th – 7th, 2023


The Center for Advanced Power Engineering and Research (CAPER) is a collaboration among three universities and industry members focusing on research and educational needs in the electric power industry in the southeast region of the US. CAPER holds two General Meetings each year in the spring and fall, each hosted by a member University. In attendance are CAPER researchers and students along with industry and government representatives to present current industry topics, update sponsored projects and take part in discussions about the Center’s research and education activities.

We wish to thank Dr. Johan Enslin, CAPER Center Co-Director at Clemson University, for hosting this in-person meeting. Special thanks go to Shannon Jenkins for all the many arrangements that were required for this meeting. We also wish to thank our Industry Members, Faculty and Students for participating in the General Meeting, Reception and Career Fair.


Location – The meeting took place at the The Madren Conference Center

 Attendees – Faculty – 20, Industry – 16, Students – 31

 Monday November 6th, 2023

 8:00 am – Tutorial: “Cybersecurity and FERC Order 2222”

 In the tutorial, objectives and scope of FERC Order 2222 were addressed. Basically, the Order will permit distribution renewable resources to participate in RTO Markets. Any DER above 100 kW qualifies to participate in the assigned market. Modeling and ensuring ride-through is the responsibility of the Electric Distribution Company (EDC).

More and more technologies are being connected at the edge of lines and feeders. These technologies are connected to networks and thus creates more cyber threats.  Phishing is the most common entry point for cyber-attacks. More research is required in the IT/OT space.

 1:00 pm – General Meeting: “Grid-Edge Technologies and Their Impacts on the Grid

Dr. Hai Xiao, ECE Chair welcomed all attendees to the campus of Clemson University and expressed how important CAPER is by bringing resources of three regional universities together. Clemson fully supports the CAPER organization.

Steve Whisenant, Chair of CAPER Steering Committee opened the meeting with a warming welcome to those in attendance. Steve presented a background on CAPER, objectives for the day and sharing of In the News.

Plenary Session – Grid Risks Generated by Grid-edge Technologies led by Dr. Johan Enslin, CAPER Center Co-Director and Mike Collins with Advanced Cybersecurity Research at NSA.

Mr. Collins stated that potential hackers are not interested in the generation connected at the grid edge, but rather see it as an entry point to do their work. System cyber resiliency is the ability of the system to take hits and still function. As long as affected nodes are less than 1/3 of the total, the system will perform as expected.

 Session I – Cyber Risks Generated by Grid-edge Technologies led by Dr. Johan Enslin, CAPER Center Co-Director.

TJ Losier, Duke Energy, opened the session with an explanation of the Grid Edge Evolution. The Evolution is being driven by the drive to a decentralized, distributed and two-way grid. This Grid Edge Evolution has come with an Evolution of Risks. Evolution of Defense is next with better Cyber Tools, Data Collection, Monitoring and improved Incident Response.

Next David Lawrence, Duke Energy, asked the question “What will control systems of the future look like?” He went on to say that Grid IT Infrastructure Security today is based on Trust and Firewalls. Like a coconut- that is hard on the outside but soft on the inside. A secure grid must be based on Zero Trust.

Michael Friedrich, SEL, stated that defending critical infrastructure starts with a purposeful design. There is a different focus on security between IT and OT systems. His advice “Keep it simple – complexity decreases security.” No one size fits all. Requirements change based on the role in the system.

Next Ramtin Hadidi, Clemson University, provided status update of project PD-05: Inertia Estimate Using Synchrophasor Measurements.

Johan Enslin, Clemson University, closed the session with an update on project DM-03: Integrated Grid Operations System for Inverter-based Resources.

Session IICAPER Sponsored Sr. Design Projects led by Steven Whisenant, CAPER Steering Committee Chair from Duke Energy

 A Team from each of our three CAPER Universities presented their progress on this year’s CAPER sponsored senior design project, Designing an Adaptive Protection Scheme (APS) for a Microgrid.

Reception and Career Fair followed next.

Day Two:

The meeting started at 8:00 am with highlights of day one and objectives for the day by CAPER Steering Committee Chair, Steve Whisenant.

 Session III – Impacts to the Grid Generated by EV Charging led by Dr. Johan Enslin, CAPER Center Co-Director at Clemson University

 Westy Westmoreland, Dominion-SC, opened the session explaining the power demand impacts of EV charging. He described the differences in charging time among the various type chargers, Level 1, Level 2 and Level 3. Fuel costs savings for EVs as compared to internal combustion engines (ICE) is $ 0.03 per mile vs $ 0.14 per mile for ICEs.

Next, Robbie Cook, Duke Energy, focused on large Fleet Charging impacts to the distribution system. Fleet charging adds multiple MWs to existing distribution systems and lead times for larger size transformers is now 24 months or longer.

Gaurav Singh, EPRI, explained the work his organization is doing to develop models, tools and techniques to estimate system impacts of EV charging. They are improving models for EV Chargers and utility transformers. EPRI also has been investigating EV Harmonic effects of multiple chargers running at the same time. He went on to state that diversity is still the goal to minimize grid impacts.

Peter Schwarz, UNC Charlotte, provided an update on a new CAPER project, MRA-02-PD: Impacts of Managed Charging and Other Innovative Rates for Electric Vehicle Charging on Utility Load and the Grid System.

Next, Johan Enslin, Clemson University, provided the final report for project, EHP-09-PG: Developing Large DER Protection Guidelines and Settings for Mitigating Systemwide Impacts across Transmission and Distribution Systems. This project created an integrated T&D model of a real T&D system with the objective of developing recloser protection settings at distribution DER sites. The protection settings are to be determined such that the recloser trips when required but does not trip the DER unnecessarily for transmission system faults. The team used PSS SINCAL as the software modeling tool in creating an integrated T&D model.

Valentina Cecchi, UNC Charlotte, closed the session with an update on project, MRA-01-PD: Comparative Power Flow Analysis and Power Flow Quality Criteria.

 Session IV – Benefits Generated by SMART Homes and SMART Buildings led by Dr. Ning Lu, CAPER Center Co-Director at NC State University.

Tim Duff, Duke Energy, opened the session with a definition for what is a SMART Home and how it can be used within an ecosystem of energy production and usage. Energy production includes energy costs, capacity costs, O&M costs and such loads provide an opportunity for avoided T&D related costs. Utilities use a Cost Effectiveness Scores to evaluate energy efficiency and demand side management components of SMART Homes.

Next Sen Huang, ORNL, shared the work ORNL is performing on stochastic load scheduling for commercial building cooling systems. Grid-Interactive Efficient Buildings (GEB) can be used to reshape the utility “duck curve” ORNL has developed a methodology for GEB to reshape utility load profiles.

Jason Massey, Ndustrial, discussed how “SMART Industrial Facilities” can be a grid asset with their large energy management systems. He discussed how Digital Twin models are being used with AI to learn consumer’s habits over 30 days to manage consumption. A customer could enter the max they wish to pay over a month and the system will manage usage.

 Tiefu Zhao, UNC Charlotte provided an update on project, PG-03: AI based Arc Fault Detection for PV Systems.

Ning Lu, NC State, closed the season with an update on a new project, PD-06: A Machine Learning based Automated Load Model Parameterization Tool.

Session V 2024 Research Planning Session led by Steve Whisenant, CAPER Chair & Facilitator

The following Break Out groups met to discuss potential research topics in each of the five Research Themes:

Power Delivery Infrastructure and Systems               1 Drew Clarke
Energy Policy, Markets and Economics                     2 Peter Schwarz
Data Management, Analytics and Security                3 Rebecca Rye
Power Generation, Storage, and Integration             4 Ramtin Hadidi
Power Utilization and Energy Efficiency                    5 Valentina Cecchi

Break Out Group summaries:

Group 1: Potential research topics –

  • Dispatchable resource requirements
  • DER visibility and modeling
  • How to observe without technology
  • Reliable communications without fiber
  • Considering diversity factor in EV impacts to the grid

Group 2: Potential research topics –

  • Focus on pricing – By product rather than per unit of electricity i.e. Charge per pound of food, not per kWh
  • Companies don’t want RTP or having to be concerned about coincident peak
  • Don’t trust DR aggregators
  • Aggregators must hedge bets, so they charge a premium
  • Customize price – Negotiated rate for big customers
  • Transparency – In return, utilities get predictable load.

Group 3: Potential research topics –


  • In the utility sector, data sharing with third parties is complex. Typically, the 3rd party must sign an NDA with the entity sharing data; however, the process of the signing parties agreeing to the terms laid out in the NDA is long as there is a lot of back and forth between the two.
  • Data management by third parties is a concern of utilities. How will the data be used? How is the data stored? Who has access to this data? What cyber-security defenses are in place to protect the data?

Potential Research Areas:

  • What is the minimum amount of data that can be shared to be helpful for research while not putting the utility at risk and protecting customer privacy?
  • From this data sharing, what information could be obtained regarding the BES? Can a high-level system overview be constructed in such a way that makes the utility vulnerable to cyber-security risks?
  • Note: machine-learning and AI could be used as a supplement for pattern recognition/computer-assisted reasoning but should not be used in any decision-making way at this time.

 Group 4: Potential research topics –

  • Storage visibility through the meter into batteries in the home
  • Cost benefit of Home Energy Storage Systems
  • Integration of SMR and storage

 Group 5: Potential research topics –

  • Visibility of resources (in front of and behind the meter)
  • Can we obtain system observability without adding telemetry?
  • Coordination of electrification loads – coordination at different levels (customer, distribution transformer, neighborhood, feeder, substation)
  • Can we effectively coordinate loads without affecting the customer (without customer even noticing)?
  • Granular management of EVs
  • Situational awareness – modeling of human/customer behavior and study of how to modify/affect it
  • Novel reward or pricing structures
  • Studies on Demand Response (DR) programs impacts on the distribution system
  • What model should be used / integrated into the Distribution Management System (DMS) to be effective while still being simple enough?

Steven Whisenant reviewed the Research Solicitation Process with timeline for the official Notice of Intent, and Proposal Submission dates.

Next Meeting – March 26 and 27, 2024 hosted by NC State with the theme: Developing Integrated T & D Models

CLOSED MEETING– IAB Members Meeting – Open to all attendees of companies that are Industry Members of CAPER.

The IAB met to elect officers for 2024 and collect feedback on the fall meeting for submission to the CAPER Steering Committee. Drew Clarke, Duke Energy, was elected Chair and Rebecca Rey, Dominion Energy was elected Vice-Chair for 2024. The IAB discussed several recommendations they will present to the Steering Committee.

Presentations and Project Updates can be found by visiting www.caper-usa.com on the Members Only area of the website.