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The electric power sector is undergoing a seismic transformation. Major forces including the drive toward greater de-carbonization, increased decentralization, and digitization are reshaping the provision of electricity services. With these dynamics comes a host of opportunities and a range of challenges for stakeholders across the value chain.

The Electric Power Systems (EPS) Center, one of the MIT Energy Initiative’s Low-Carbon Energy Centers, has been established to accelerate an efficient transition toward a decarbonized power sector by leveraging and integrating MIT’s broad-ranging expertise.

Through quantitative analysis and member-motivated research, the Center studies the impacts and system level implications of emerging technologies, evolving business models, and regulatory and policy dynamics that are shaping the future of the sector. The Center examines both pragmatic and disruptive solutions ranging from development of new modeling tools to breakthrough digital, software, and hardware technologies. It is also developing a comprehensive framework that expands upon MIT’s interdisciplinary and integrative modeling capabilities and technoeconomic analysis to help guide and inform members on an ongoing basis through this transition.

Goals and approach

The Electric Power Systems Center applies the broad analysis and research capabilities of MIT faculty from across the Institute’s five schools and engages with EPS Center members to help them navigate the complex transition to tomorrow’s power system and support data-driven decision-making at the strategic, operational, and regulatory levels across the power sector. Members include traditional utilities, OEMs, digital service providers, system integrators, new energy service providers, NGOs, and regulatory and policy makers, among others.

Analysis and core competencies

Today’s power system is highly complex, with decisions being made continuously on timescales ranging from microseconds to decades. To function, it depends on the precise integration of hardware, operational coordination, and market and regulatory structures. Increasing deployment of distributed energy resources such as solar, storage, wind, and demand response, along with growing cyber threats concomitant with digitization, are further challenging the reliable planning and operations of the power system.

Addressing these challenges in an effective and efficient manner requires a multidisciplinary approach. MIT is uniquely positioned to meet the challenges within the electric power sector given its breadth of capabilities across a wide range of technical, social, and economic disciplines relevant to the power sector. These include:

Computational methods and modeling tools

The Center develops state-of-the-art computational methods for power system modeling, simulation, and planning. Proprietary models core to the Center’s capabilities include:

Learn more about these modeling tools →