Tower at Night


Main Program:
Dates: March 13 and 14, 2012
Location: Carnegie Mellon Univ.
Baker Hall A51
Giant Eagle Auditorium

Pre-Conference Workshop
Date: March 12, 1:00- 6:00 p.m.
Location: Carnegie Mellon Univ.
ECE Department
Hamerschlag Hall, HH 1107 
  Bombardier Smart Infra-structure Collaboration Center


Abstracts due:
Feb. 01, 2012
Acceptance notices sent:
Feb. 15, 2012
Presentations due:
Mar. 01, 2012


Please note that you must register for the conference before you can upload a paper.


This year's 8th CMU Electricity Conference  is combined with the NSF-SRC Sponsored National Workshop on Data-Driven Sustainable Energy Systems. NSF will provide partial support to offset travel expenses by the invited academic speakers. Please send Prof Marija Ilic ( email immediately if you are interested in serving as an invited speaker. We would like to fully   sponsor late stage PhD students from U.S. universities to participate in the conference.  Please contact us if you are interested in participating.

Finally, there will be a Pre-Conference Workshop reporting on ongoing work at the SRC Smart Grid Research Center. This website includes the preliminary program for this workshop as well. Please send us email if you are interested in attending.

From Data Collection to Information Technology for Sustainable Services

Prof. Marija Ilic (Carnegie Mellon University, Electrical & Computer Engineering and Engineering Public Policy Departments)
Prof. Richard Edward Schuler, Cornell University, Department of Economics/School of Civil & Environmental Engineering

Prof. Richard Edward Schuler, Cornell University
Dr. Bob Havemann, SRC
Dr. Krishna Kant, NSF
Prof. Jose Moura, ICTI
Leonard Hyman
, Senior Advisor, Black & Veatch

Pre-Conference Workshop
Date: March 12, p.m.
Location: Carnegie Mellon University
Distance Learning Room
Hamerschlag Hall, Room 1107, CIT

Main Program

Dates: March 13 and 14, 2012
Location: Carnegie Mellon University
Distance Learning Room
Hamerschlag Hall, Room 1107, CIT

This conference focuses on the role data might play in enabling future energy services. Recent advances in communications, sensing, computing and control, as well as the targeted investments toward deploying advanced meter infrastructures (AMIs) and synchrophasors have become drivers and sources of data previously unavailable in the electric power industry. This situation presents the community with major challenges and opportunities. The opportunities are to rely on just-in-time (JIT), just-in-place (JIP) and just-in-context (JIC) key information for flexible adaptation of available energy resources and users to the ever-changing hard-to-predict uncertainties. One of the key premises in this workshop is that IT-enabled flexible utilization of assets is key to sustainable energy services. However, the challenge is enormous as the industry paradigm shifts from the predictive, worst-case centralized data management to highly distributed interactive data and resource management. Invited papers by the academic, industry and government participants will be presented. They are intended to introduce fundamental approaches to transforming today's operating and planning industry practices, and the supporting policies, to manage such short-and long-term uncertain problems to ensure sustainable electricity services. Of particular interest are papers which offer frameworks for systematic use of IT and quantifiable performance enhancements in sustainable energy services.

The Carnegie Mellon Conference on the Electricity Industry is now in its eight year of offering networking on timely topics. This is the first conference without late Lester Lave, who together with Marija Ilic started it all. Semiconductor Research Corporation (SRC) as part of its Energy Research Initiative (ERI) outreach activities and the National Science Foundation (NSF) will be conference co-sponsors and co-organizers of the 8th CARNEGIE MELLON UNIVERSITY Electricity Conference. Invited academic speakers will be partially compensated for their travel expenses by the National Science Foundation. All presentations and white papers will be archived as part of the CARNEGIE MELLON UNIVERSITY Electricity Conference Series (see Archives).

Motivation for the Conference Theme:

The electric energy industry is at its crossroads. New unconventional resources are being deployed within the electric power grids which were not designed for accommodating such resources in order to meet the social objectives of deploying clean resources and reduce the environmental footprint in the years to come.

These resources are qualitatively different than the conventional power plants and require rethinking of today’s operating and planning practices. In addition, the overall complexity of the interconnected power systems does not lend itself well to the blue print standards and rules. Integration can be done in qualitatively different ways, and, depending on how it is done, the asset utilization, impact on customers and society will be drastically different. More near-term, it is essential to have business incentives which are aligned with the objectives which must be met and the valuation of candidate technologies. As in many other industries, tremendous progress in information technology is likely to change the way electricity is provided in previously unseen ways.

As unconventional technologies (many of them new) get connected to the electric power grid, and the system is driven by qualitatively new economic and environmental objectives, new phenomena will emerge. Some of these may lower cost and improve reliability, but some will challenge the stability and reliability of the electricity system. For example, if a large proportion of residential and commercial customers have solar panels that feed electricity into the grid when the sun is shining, but abruptly require power when a cloud passes over the sun, the dynamic stresses on the grid will increase, perhaps to unmanageable levels. A system based on minimizing costs with current rules for preserving stability and reliability could lead to unacceptable service. Before making these changes in technology and management practices, it would be prudent to understand the challenges that the current system faces, the reasons for its relatively good record of reliability, and how the system will be challenged by the changes.

Similarly, an effort toward planning for integrating many wind power plants, creates difficult challenge and opportunity. Tradeoffs between multiple objectives, such as business, economic and environmental impacts, on one side, and robust services, on the other, must be quantified, and supported by the right IT methods and protocols. The IT methods for managing huge uncertainties in a distributed way across energy providers, users and delivery providers and over multiple time horizons, ranging from near-real-time to very long-term horizons, must be formalized.

The idea for this conference is to provide a venue for structured brainstorming by the thought leaders in multiple communities. The underlying theme is the one of data-driven challenges and opportunities.

The Preliminary Program is organized this year by invitation only and it is targeted to answer several key questions as listed below. Other university, industry and government participants are invited to attend and participate in discussion. They are also welcome to send 1-2 page white papers which will, upon light review be posted as archival conference documents.