2024 Spring General Meeting

Hosted by: NC State University

Meeting Highlights

March 26th – 27th, 2024


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, 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. Ning Lu, CAPER Center Co-Director at NC State, 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 Poster Session.


LocationThe meeting took place at the Hunt Library on campus of NC State University.

Attendees – 80 (Faculty – 12, Industry – 34, Students – 34)


Tuesday March 26th, 2024

At 8:30 am, a CLOSED MEETING of the Industry Advisory Board, IAB, was held. IAB meetings are open to all employees of companies that are CAPER Industry Members.

The IAB met to review pitches of three proposals submitted for CAPER consideration. Each proposal was discussed and the IAB prepared it’s funding recommendations on each proposal to preset to the Steering Committee.

It was announced that Steve Whisenant, Duke Energy, will be stepping down as Chair of the Steering Committee and Drew Clarke, Duke Energy, will serve in that capacity following this meeting.

Rebecca Rye agreed to step up to serve as IAB Chair and Kat Sico was elected as the new Vice-chair.

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


1:00 pm – General Meeting: “Innovative Approaches for Integrated T&D Modeling and Simulations

Steve Whisenant, Chair of CAPER Steering Committee opened the meeting with a warming welcome to those in attendance. It was announced that Steve will soon be retiring from Duke Energy and Drew Clarke, Duke Energy will step in and begin serving as Chair of the CAPER Steering Committee. Rebecca Rye, Dominion Energy will move up as Chair of the Industry Advisory Board (IAB) and Kat Sico was elected to serve as Vice Chair of the IAB. Steve presented a background on CAPER, objectives for the day and a sharing of In the News.


Plenary Session – What is Driving the Need for Integrated T&D Modeling and Simulations

Led by Steve Whisenant, Chair of CAPER Steering Committee.

Eugene Moore, Duke Energy, opened the session with a historical timeline of the evolution of energy from 1890 to the present. What was a horizontal line from 1890 to early 2000s is now a web of activity at the distribution level. The grid is under significant change caused by the move towards clean energy production and grid edge resources. Customers are shifting from just consumers to now partners in the production and consumption of electricity. Eugene went on to share that economic development in manufacturing and technology is the primary driver of increased electric demand. The estimated peak load growth by 2030 is eight times the growth projected just two years ago. Achieving this forecasted level of growth requires a refresh in the planning process. Tools are limited with old technology, analysis is constrained to only peak loadings, grid data is inaccurate and inconsistent and circuit reviews are manual and time consuming. A convergence of forces is driving the need for integrated T&D modeling and simulations. These combined forces create complex challenges across generation, transmission, distribution, and customer segments of the grid.


Session I – Hybrid Approaches for Integrated Power Grid Planning and Operations led by Ning Lu, Center Co-Director at NC State.

Ningchao Gao, NREL, opened the session with an explanation of the MIDAS_PHIL test bed showcasing 100% renewables for the island grid.

Next Joshua Park, SCE, explained how his company is using digital simulation resources for applications at Southern California Edison.

Victor Paduani, NYPA, discussed his company’s digital twin initiative, integrated T&D models, and co-simulation strategies.

Concluding the session was an update on CAPER Project DM-03: Integrated Grid Operations System for Controlling and Monitoring IBR led by Johan Enslin of Clemson University.


Session IICAPER Sponsored Sr. Design Project led by Drew Clarke, Duke Energy

Senior Design Teams from UNC Charlotte and NC State presented their progress on this year’s CAPER sponsored senior design project.


Session II was followed with a Reception and CAPER Project Poster Session.


Day Two:

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

Session III – Approaches for Integrated T&D Planning and Operations led by Rebecca Rye, Dominion Energy.

Carl Wilkins, Quanta Technology, opened the session with a discussion on utility perspectives on modern distribution planning. The Grid 0f the Future must be more resilient, more flexible, distributed, reliable and integrated. Distribution will play a huge role in the move to a clean energy future and therefore, must be more integrated with transmission planning.

Marco Salazar, Siemens, shared the work his company is doing to enhance tools used in the analysis of integrated power systems. PSS*E is a widely used tool for transmission planning and operations. PSS*SINCAL is a tool new to North America and can be used to model distributed generation at the distribution level. PSS*E is a balanced single-phase model while PSS*SINCAL is a time series three-phase sequence model. PSS*E can be used in dynamic and stability simulations where PSS*SINCAL is not at the current time. Plans are to converge the capabilities of both into one software for true integrated T&D modeling and simulation.

Rahul Chakraborty, Dominion Energy, stated that the tremendous growth in demand mainly driven by large data centers approaching 1000 MW in size is driving the next generation of transmission planning a longer-term process requiring improved forecasts. Today Planning looks at the entire Eastern Interconnection while Operations looks at only the Balancing Authority level. Integrated system planning is now required mainly driven by DER penetrations in distribution.

Concluding the session were updates on two CAPER Projects, EHP-09-PG: DER Protection Guidelines and Settings led by Johan Enslin, Clemson University and EHP-08-PU: Comparative Power Flow – Phase III led by Valentina Cecchi, UNC Charlotte.


Session IV Driving Trends in T&D Modeling and Simulations led by Ramtin Haddadi, Center Co-Director Clemson University.

Karthikeyan Balasubramaniam, ANL, discussed the interfacing techniques required for T&D co-simulations. It is necessary to limit the number of feeders, determine the coupling and degrees of freedom and the required interfacing software.

Vahraz Zamani, Siemens -PTI, shared his views on the changing global and local trends and resulting impacts to the grid. EV and PV are growing at tremendous rates, both have varying impacts to local grids and transmission.

Concluding the session were updates on two CAPER Projects, PD-05: Inertia Estimate Using Synchrophasor Measurements led by Ramtin Hadidi, Clemson University and PD-06: A Machine Learning based Automated Load Model Parameterization Tool led by Ning Lu, NC State.


Session V Future Planning and Operational Challenges led by Ning Lu, CAPER Co-Director NC State.

Mohammad Razeghi Jahromi, ABB, opened the session with a presentation on adaptive protection for microgrids. Adaptive protection depends on the system configuration and the number and location of generators on and off within the microgrid.

Jishnudeep Kar, Hitachi, discussed the concept of resilient microgrids that can be networked with connections to the utility and peer microgrids.

Anderson de Queiroz, NC State, shared data on the potential of offshore wind generation. On the east coast there is already 17 GW of takeoff agreements in place and an expected 42 GW by 2040. NC is forecasting 2.8 GW by 2030. Challenges are transmission connections and optimal locations for wind generation.

Concluding the session was an update on CAPER Project MRA-02-PD: Impacts of Managed Charging and Other Innovative Rates for Electric Vehicle Charging on Utility Load and the Grid System Impacts led by Peter Schwarz, UNC Charlotte.

Closing and Next Meeting

Steven Whisenant closed the Spring General Meeting with an announcement of the fall meeting to be hosted by UNC Charlotte on October 29 -30. The working theme is Designing Resiliency Into the Grid. Anyone interested is invited to volunteer to speak on a topic following this theme.