ECE Professor George Gross receives Power Engineering Society Technical Committee Prize Paper Award


Charlie Johnson, ECE ILLINOIS

George Gross
George Gross

ECE Professor George Gross was recently awarded the IEEE Power Engineering Society Technical Committee Prize Paper Award for his paper entitled “A General Formulation for LMP Evaluation.” The paper, which was authored by Gross along with postdoctoral visitor Tina Orfanogianni, was published in the August 2007 edition of IEEE Transactions on Power Systems, but received recognition recently at the 2009 IEEE Power and Energy Society General Meeting.

Professor Gross is no stranger to accolades from the IEEE, having been the past recipient of the Power System Engineering Committee Prize Paper Award of the IEEE Power Engineering Society in 1980, the IEEE Power Engineering Society Education Committee Prize Paper Award in 1998, and the IEEE Power Engineering Society Prize Paper Award in 1999, as well as being a member of the Power and Energy Society’s Distinguished Lecturers Program since 2003.

“Well, they always have to give an award to somebody for something,” said Gross. “Typically, papers that win awards are the ones that people can read and understand. I guess enough people read this one, had the committee take a look at it, and this summer when we had the conference in Calgary, I was definitely taken by surprise that this one won the Best Paper Award.”

The paper discusses a number of issues that impact directly the wholesale electricity markets. Part of the research for the award-winning paper focused on quantifying the effects of congestion charges, a fee that is charged to those drawing power during periods of high demand. Just as traffic congestion increases during rush hour periods and makes travel slower and consequently more expensive, this congestion in electricity can lower the efficiency of moving large quantities of electricity and can require the payment of the congestion prices in order for energy to be injected and withdrawn from the system during those periods, thereby overriding the congestion. The improved understanding of these congestion charges enables a better focus on providing effective congestion relief.

“This brings a far better understanding of the problem than we previously had. The fact that we have congestion, the fact that we don’t have enough transmission, means that people who want to use electricity at these times need to pay a higher price,” said Gross.  “Now, of course, no one is going to put in a multibillion dollar expansion to reduce congestion for one hour. But, if it persists for many hours, the efficiency of the whole system is reduced. This gives us some indication of when we should expand transmission systems and the appropriate plans to undertake.”

Gross has been an IEEE fellow since 1988. Orfanogianni currently works for Busarello + Cott + Partner, Inc., a power engineering firm based in Zurich, Switzerland.