Lucy Pao is currently the Richard and Joy Dorf Professor in the Electrical, Computer, and Energy Engineering Department at the University of Colorado Boulder. Her research interests include the areas of control systems, multisensor data fusion, and haptic and multimodal visual/haptic/audio interfaces. She earned B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University. Selected recent and current professional society activities include being General Chair for the 2013 American Control Conference, an IEEE Control Systems Society (CSS) Distinguished Lecturer, a member of the IEEE CSS Board of Governors, and a Fellow of the Renewable and Sustainable Energy Institute (RASEI). Selected recent honors include elevation to IEEE Fellow in 2012, the 2012 IEEE Control Systems Magazine Outstanding Paper Award, and election to Fellow of the International Federation of Automatic Control (IFAC) in 2013.
Wind energy is recognized worldwide as cost-effective and environmentally friendly and is among the world's fastest-growing sources of electrical energy. Despite the amazing growth in global wind power installations in recent years, science and engineering challenges still exist. It is commonly reported that the variability of wind is a major obstacle to integrating large amounts of wind energy on the utility grid. Wind's variability creates challenges because power supply and demand must match in order to maintain a constant grid frequency. As wind energy penetration increases to higher levels in many countries, however, systems and control techniques can be used to actively control the power generated by wind turbines and wind farms to help regulate the grid frequency. In this talk, we will first provide an overview of wind energy systems by introducing the primary structural components and operating regions of wind turbines. The operation of the utility grid will be outlined by discussing the electrical system, explaining the importance of preserving grid reliability through controlling the grid frequency (which is a measure of the balance between electrical generation and load), and describing the methods of providing ancillary services for frequency support using conventional generation utilities. We will then present a vision for how wind turbines and wind farms can be controlled to help stabilize and balance the frequency of the utility grid, and we will highlight control methods being developed in industry, national laboratories, and academia for providing active power ancillary services with wind energy. Results of simulation studies as well as experimental field tests will be presented to show the promise of the techniques being developed. We shall close by discussing future research avenues to enable widespread adoption of active power control services provided by wind farms, and how advanced distributed capabilities can reduce the integration cost of wind energy and enable much higher wind energy penetrations while simultaneously maintaining and possibly increasing the reliability of the utility grid.