LF Energy partners with Alliander, RTE and Savoir-faire Linux to launch power grid virtualisation project

Source: press release, 16 December 2020

The open-source project, SEAPATH, will support service operators by transforming power grid automation technologies (illustration: LF Energy)
The open-source project, SEAPATH, will support service operators by transforming power grid automation technologies (illustration: LF Energy)

LF Energy, a Linux Foundation nonprofit seeking to accelerate the energy transition of the world’s grids and transportation systems through open source, along with Alliander, RTE and its newest member, Savoir-faire Linux, has announced SEAPATH, or Software Enabled Automation Platform and Artifacts (THerein), the second project in its Digital Substation Automation Systems (DSAS) initiative. Following DSAS’ objective to create the next generation of digital substation technology, SEAPATH will provide a reference design and a real-time, open-source platform for grid operators to run virtualised automation and protection applications.

“The use of power transmission and distribution grids is changing due to the energy transition, making SEAPATH a vital next step in renewable adoption,” says Dr Shuli Goodman, Executive Director of LF Energy. “Clean energy sources like renewable energy and electric vehicles cause increasing fluctuations in power supply and demand that are difficult for grid operators to control and optimise. SEAPATH and our other DSAS projects like CoMPAS alleviate these challenges by making electrical substations more modular, interoperable and scalable through open-source technology.”

Modern digital substations now require an increasing number of computers to support more field devices and applications, and a higher degree of automation. SEAPATH seeks to consolidate multi-provider automation and protection applications with redundant hardware requirements onto one platform that grid operators can use to emulate and virtually provide these services. The project will help with time and cost-efficiency, scalability and flexibility, innovation, vendor-agnostic implementations and the convergence of utility practices.

“With the support of some of the industry’s leading grid operators and technology providers, SEAPATH will enable the cross-industry collaboration that is required to build customer- and vendor-agnostic virtualisation technology,” says Lucian Balea, R&D Program Director and open source manager at RTE. “This collaboration will allow the industry to unlock even more opportunities to innovate and improve the grid’s flexibility, scalability and velocity.”

RTE developed and contributed the initial code for the project in partnership with Savoir-faire Linux, an open-source integrator and LF Energy’s newest General Member. Also a Silver Member and Participant at the Yocto Project, and member of the Linux Foundation since 2011, Savoir-faire Linux is an important contributor to the Linux and Open Source ecosystem.

For more information about SEAPATH or LF Energy, visit www.lfenergy.org/projects/seapath.