Overview - Discovery Across Texas

Identifying Wind and Energy Solutions Today to Ensure Grid Reliability, Efficiencies for Tomorrow

Discovery Across Texas is a smart grid demonstration project jointly funded by the Center for the Commercialization of Electric Technology (CCET) and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). Its purpose is to identify technology solutions that will better integrate Texas's vast wind energy resources into the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) electric grid and to demonstrate advanced smart grid technologies.

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Why ERCOT?

ERCOT is clearly the place to demonstrate wind integration since it has 1/3 of the nation's installed wind generation capacity, is a leader in the roll out of Advanced Metering Systems, has planned $5 billion transmission expansion, and now has a common portal to provide access to 15 minute usage data from millions of customers, and settlement with 15 minute data.

Project Goals

The goal of this $27 million CCET project is to demonstrate a synergistic approach to managing the grid while accommodating 18 GW of wind power on the ERCOT transmission grid through better system monitoring capabilities, enhanced operator visualization, transformed load patterns and improved load management.

This three-pronged effort will:

  • Employ synchrophasor technology and advanced analytic tools to monitor wind dynamics, enhance transmission operations management practices, and improve grid reliability.
  • Plan a demonstration of real-time use of a Smart Meter Texas (SMT) Portal to exercise direct load control and development of new ancillary services based on aggregated residential load and distributed battery systems.
  • Investigate residential load contribution to wind integration by demonstrating distribution system behavior at the "Texas smart grid community" that includes distributed renewable energy generation, PEV charging, community energy storage and integrated Smart Grid technologies, including smart meters and appliances, plug-in electric vehicles, and homes equipped with solar photovoltaics and energy management (HEM) systems to reshape and support advanced demand response programs.

Project Team

CCET is leading a team of utilities, retail electric providers, technology companies and vendors to accomplish the goals of the smart grid demonstration project. The key participants include: ERCOT, CenterPoint Energy, Oncor Electric Delivery, AEP Texas, Austin Energy, Sharyland Utilities, TXU Energy, Group NIRE, Electric Power Group, Frontier Associates, Pecan Street, Inc., Texas Tech University P3E, The University of Texas at Austin's Texas Advanced Computing Center, and Southwest Research Institute.