The electric power industry is evolving from its historical business structure. The vertically integrated utility of the past has been replaced by multiple players providing unbundled services using market-oriented decision-making. Challenges for success in this demanding business environment are being raised by new market structures and ways of doing business, new technologies, the demands of customers for customized services, strategic choices between centralized and decentralized technologies, institutional changes creating mega-RTOs, a graying industry that needs well-trained power engineers, and new environmental priorities. Yet the basic function of the industry—to produce and to deliver power, safely and reliably—has not changed. The challenges call for new strategies, technologies, analytical capabilities and tools, and operating practices, along with sound public policy guidance.
The Power Systems Engineering Research Center (PSERC) draws on university capabilities to creatively address these challenges. Under the banner of PSERC, multiple U.S. universities, including Iowa State University, are working collaboratively to investigate these topics. Faculty members at Iowa State University are involved in several research projects sponsored by PSERC.
For more information about PSERC, please visit their Web site at www.pserc.org.