Launched: Digital Substation Initiative to Modernize Power Grid Infrastructure

(Credit: Pixabay)

by | Jun 24, 2020

(Credit: Pixabay)

A Digital Substation Automation Systems (DSAS) initiative has been launched to enhance the power grid’s modularity, interoperability, and scalability to accelerate the effort toward carbon neutrality by 2050.

LF Energy, in partnership with GE Renewable Energy, Schneider Electric, RTE, Alliander, and other leading organizations in the energy sector, also launched today the first project under DSAS: CoMPAS, or Configuration Modules for Power industry Automation Systems.

The goal is to make 100% decarbonization a reality by transforming power grid infrastructure.

Digital Substations

The transition from fossil-based fuels to clean energy sources has given rise to variable conditions that cause fluctuations in power supply and demand, like renewable energy and electrical vehicles. Because of this, power grid operators now face greater challenges ensuring the grid is stable and optimizes power supply and demand.

LF Energy’s DSAS initiative seeks to alleviate these challenges by optimizing electrical substations through open-source technology. These substations form crossroads of the grids, connecting grid users and grid voltage levels. By deploying modern, open-source technology, digital substations can more efficiently adjust to changes in power supply and demand through expanded dynamic protection settings, better data management capabilities, and increased adaptive automation functions.

According to LF Energy, a more efficient power grid of the future will increasingly integrate more solutions on the edge of the power grid, such as decentralized physical infrastructure assets, network or control, applications and analytics. Transforming our power grid represents one of the great opportunities for mitigating the climate crisis.


CoMPAS is the first of many leveraged collaboration projects in LF Energy’s DSAS initiative. This is the first time in the power industry that organizations have come together to build open-source solutions for energy systems from start to finish, as most open-source projects are formed using existing technology. CoMPAS specifically seeks to build standardized and broadly-applicable software components that optimize protection, automation and control (PAC) systems, as deploying modern PAC technologies is a pivotal first step to update substations.

One hurdle to achieving industry-wide modernization of electrical substations is the lack of interoperability between PAC components from different vendors. To ensure standardization and encourage broad adoption, CoMPAS’s software components will be developed according to IEC 61850, an open, international standard that provides the framework to integrate a substation’s PAC functions, regardless of the vendor or end-user. IEC 61850 can be complex to comply with, which may discourage independent companies from developing technology that abides by it. CoMPAS seeks to provide the standardized open-source software building blocks for PAC components vendors to use to create interoperable digital substation solutions.

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