The operational security of the electricity network, that is the ability of the system to ensure the continuity of the electrical service to users even in the presence of disturbances such as short circuits or loss of generation, constitutes an essential and increasingly stringent requirement in today's society.
The complexity of managing the electricity system, however, has increased significantly in recent years for several reasons, connected both with the evolution of the market and the availability of innovative technologies. The expansion of the transmission system is becoming less and less simple because of environmental and administrative obstacles; in addition the load is constantly increasing and the rules of the energy market require more intensive exploitation of interconnection corridors. Control room operators are strongly influenced in their decisions by economic pressures and must meet stringent regulatory constraints.
In this context of development security is increasingly becoming an international or even continental and stability margins tend to shrink. The coordination between Transmission System Operators- TSO is becoming increasingly important: in response to this perceived need the European TSOs have decided to create a new institution to strengthen their cooperation.
The same market approach means that the network conditions vary rapidly and acquire operating statuses which are unfamiliar to operators (whose ability to lead the network is largely based on experience). The volatility of the operating point and uncertainty estimates are enhanced by dispatching priority given to renewable energy sources such as wind. Moreover, the latest generation plants (combined cycles, wind farms) have disturbance response features that are different from those of traditional plants; lastly, from a technological point of view, beside the traditional components (alternating current overhead lines, transformers with adjustment voltage module) new equipment is installed (phase shifter transformers - PST, various types of flexible AC transmission systems - FACTS, high voltage direct current - HVDC) that operators have to learn and manage. In these circumstances of increased network complexity and of greater attention to operating and maintenance costs, the probability of failure increases.
This situation requires significant research and development efforts aimed at strengthening the support tools for operators and the robustness of the network. These innovative network management methods include wide-area monitoring (wide-area monitoring systems WAMS), security analysis, monitoring systems and defense plans.
Transverse to the pursuit of these goals are information and communication technologies, which are essential for communication and data processing. RSE activities in this field have contributed with several detailed analysis of problems and identification of solutions in the large overview of open issues that affect the electricity system. In particular, the activities relate to operational "electrical" security, defined as the continuity of electricity supply in real operating situations in the presence of disturbances in the network.