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Researchers from a Department of Energy (DOE) laboratory have recently developed ChatGrid, an advanced technology that will be used to monitor the power grid using generative AI and advanced computer systems. Grid operators currently have to keep track of every aspect of the power grid, including generators, substations, homes, and businesses. In case of a disruption, operators need to make quick decisions to restore power, which can slow down the decision-making process.

Shrirang Abhyankar, an optimization and grid modeling researcher at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), along with former PNNL intern Sichen Jin, created a program where a grid operator can ask questions about the grid and receive immediate responses. This new approach allows operators to query data and receive instantaneous answers, which streamlines decision-making. ChatGrid will operate on supercomputers capable of a billion billion computations per second, providing valuable information to operators about generation capacity, voltage, power flow, and clean energy sources across the grid.

ChatGrid could play a crucial role in restoring power to millions of people efficiently in the event of a disruption. It could also help bring online various clean energy projects included in the Biden administration’s infrastructure bill. Currently in the testing phase, there is no specific timeline for when ChatGrid will be fully operational. Sign up for our newsletter to receive weekly updates on the latest innovations improving our lives and environment.

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