Transforming the Power Grid for a Renewable Future: Insights from Marc Borrett of Reactive Technologies

Author photo: Jim Frazer
ByJim Frazer
Industry Trends

Jim Frazer, ARC VP, recently had an in-depth discussion with Mark Borrett of Reactive Technologies about integrating renewable energy in the grid, and more specifically the issues surrounding grid inertia.  The following is a summary of the discussion. For the entire discussion listen in at the link below.

As we move towards a future where the majority of our power comes from renewable sources like solar and wind, the power grid must adapt to new challenges. Reactive Technologies, under the leadership of CEO and founder Mark Burnett, is at the forefront of this transformation, pioneering innovative solutions that ensure the stability and efficiency of our evolving energy systems.

Listen in now:



One of the critical innovations by Reactive Technologies has been the ability to measure grid inertia in real-time. Inertia, a property of the power grid that helps stabilize frequency fluctuations, has traditionally been difficult to measure directly. By leveraging their telecommunications expertise, Reactive Technologies developed a method to send signals through the power grid and measure the resulting changes in frequency.

This breakthrough allowed them to provide real-time data on the grid's stability, offering grid operators unprecedented visibility into the system's behavior. With this data, operators can make more informed decisions, maximizing the use of renewable energy while ensuring the grid remains stable and secure.

Addressing the Phenomena of Renewable Integration

The transition to renewable energy introduces several phenomena that challenge traditional grid operations. Unlike fossil fuel generators, renewable energy sources such as wind and solar do not inherently stabilize the grid. This lack of inertia makes the grid more susceptible to frequency fluctuations and other instabilities.

Real-Time Data: The Key to a Resilient Grid

Real-time data is essential for managing the modern power grid. Traditional models, which rely on historical data and periodic measurements, are no longer sufficient. The complexity and variability of renewable energy sources require continuous monitoring and rapid response capabilities.

As Marc discussed, high-precision measurement devices offer grid operators the tools they need to see and understand the grid's behavior in real-time. This visibility is crucial for making informed operational decisions, from load shedding to voltage control, ensuring that the grid can handle the dynamic nature of renewable energy.

Looking Forward

The role of advanced measurement and real-time data is increasingly important. Efforts like those of Marc Borrett and Reactive Technologies are leading the way, providing the tools and insights needed to navigate this complex transition.

The requirements of understanding and managing the grid's new operational dynamics will only grow over time. With real-time data and advanced measurement techniques, we can look forward to a cleaner, greener, and more reliable energy future.

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