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European companies drive open source virtualisation and consolidation for the grid

Technology News |
By Nick Flaherty

LF Energy is working with European energy companies on an open source virtualised consolidation platform for energy operators that provides real time secure software on redundant hardware for high availability.

The Software Enabled Automation Platform and Artifacts (SEAPATH) project includes Alliander in the Netherlands and RTE in France as well as Canadian developer Savoir-faire Linux. This is the second project in its Digital Substation Automation Systems (DSAS) initiative to create the next generation of digital substation technology.

Modern digital substations now require an increasing number of systems to support more field devices and applications, and a higher degree of automation. SEAPATH seeks to consolidate multi-provider automation and protection applications with redundant hardware requirements onto one platform that grid operators can use to emulate and virtually provide these services. The project will help with time and cost-efficiency, scalability and flexibility, innovation, vendor-agnostic implementations and the convergence of utility practices.

The project will provide a reference design and a real-time, open-source platform for grid operators to run and consolidate multi-provider virtualized automation and protection applications with redundant hardware requirements onto one platform. The aim is to help operators with time and cost-efficiency, scalability and flexibility, innovation, vendor-agnostic implementations and the convergence of utility practices, which is a vital next step in renewable adoption and for climate change initiatives.

“The use of power transmission and distribution grids is changing due to the energy transition, making SEAPATH a vital next step in renewable adoption,” said Dr. Shuli Goodman, Executive Director of LF Energy. “Clean energy sources like renewable energy and electric vehicles cause increasing fluctuations in power supply and demand that are difficult for grid operators to control and optimize. SEAPATH and our other DSAS projects like CoMPAS alleviate these challenges by making electrical substations more modular, interoperable and scalable through open-source technology.”

“With the support of some of the industry’s leading grid operators and technology providers, SEAPATH will enable the cross-industry collaboration that is required to build customer- and vendor-agnostic virtualisation technology,” said Lucian Balea, R&D Program Director and open source manager at RTE. “This collaboration will allow the industry to unlock even more opportunities to innovate and improve the grid’s flexibility, scalability and velocity.”

RTE developed and contributed the initial code for the project in partnership with Savoir-faire Linux, part of the Yocto Project and member of the Linux Foundation since 2011.

www.lfenergy.org/projects/seapath

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