Understanding the complex operations of keeping the lights on with Mani Vadari

Mani Vadari, who released Electric System Operations: Evolving to the Modern Grid, Second Edition, gave us a behind-the-scenes look at today’s electric grid:

To the layperson, electricity may seem ubiquitous and simple; flip the switch and voilà, you have light! But what happens behind the scenes is anything but simple. Today’s electric grid is increasingly complex and performing the duties of keeping the lights on in our current age of digitalization is more challenging than ever before.

My intention in writing this book – and its subsequent second edition – was to break down electric utility system operations for an audience who may or may not have a foundational knowledge of power systems. I found there were many books covering the technical aspects of grid operations concerning facts, laws and theories. I wanted to also provide a broader spectrum of insights for technicians, engineers and utility business professionals alike. After all, as simple as it may seem to the average energy consumer, supplying reliable, affordable and efficient electricity is a challenging business. And it’s a business that is undergoing transformative changes in the way electricity is produced, transmitted, managed, transacted and used.

In the second edition, I’ve added real-world case studies to bring to life the trends within the industry today and the impacts they have on operating the grid. The disruptive nature of deregulation, decarbonization, digitalization and decentralization are essential for us to understand and evaluate in terms of operating the grid and also for the surrounding business of keeping the lights on.

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