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The Linux Foundation Launches LF ENERGY, New Open Source Coalition

By Announcement

LF ENERGY Launches with Europe’s Biggest Transmission System Provider, RTE; Initiative Fuels Energy Transition and Momentum for Open Source Innovation

SAN FRANCISCO, July 12, 2018 – Just as open source software has transformed automobiles, telecommunications, financial services, and healthcare, The Linux Foundation today announces the formation of LF Energy with support from RTE, Europe’s biggest transmission power systems provider, and other organizations, to speed technological innovation and transform the energy mix across the world.

LF Energy also welcomes four new projects to be hosted at The Linux Foundation as part of the initiative, which will advance everything from smart assistants for system operators to smart grid controls software.

LF Energy is an umbrella organization that will support and sustain multi-vendor collaboration and open source progress in the energy and electricity sectors to accelerate information and communication technologies (ICT) critical to balanced energy use and economic value.

“Our complex, multifaceted global energy market is evolving quickly, and it demands that we not only keep pace, but act more rapidly than ever before,” said Shuli Goodman, LF Energy Executive Director. “A collaborative open source approach to development of these technologies across companies, countries, and end users, will provide the innovation needed to meet our respective goals in renewable energy, power electronics, electric mobility, and rapid digitalization for the energy sector overall.”

LF Energy members aim to inform and expedite the energy transition, including the move to electric mobility and connected sensors and devices—all while modernizing and protecting the grid.

“We are thrilled to launch LF Energy and honored to work with RTE, European Network of Transmission System Operators, Vanderbilt University and The Electric Power Research Institute to harness open source technologies and advance the energy transition. We invite developers and organizations around the world to join us in advancing this exciting new endeavor,” said Jim Zemlin, Executive Director of The Linux Foundation. “With the technical and operational guidance of the Linux Foundation, LF Energy will create a sustainable ecosystem to quickly and efficiently deliver robust, secure and innovative solutions. Our goal with LF Energy is to deliver value as quickly as possible to help our stakeholders advance their business goals, strengthen local and global economies, and improve renewable energy and grid modernization.”

LF Energy will focus on curating reusable components, open APIs and interfaces through project communities that the energy ecosystem can adopt into platforms and solutions. Building the plumbing upon a common infrastructure enables energy companies and solution providers to differentiate at higher value layers and services, while reducing cost and integration complexity at non-differentiating layers. As a result, power system providers will be empowered to achieve time to market, scale and efficiency much faster than ever before.

Key Facts, Background and Supporting Partners

RTE is a French transmission system operator and Europe’s biggest transmission system provider.

“RTE is thrilled to be a founding member of LF Energy because we believe it is essential for creating forward-thinking grid solutions,” said Olivier Grabette, Executive Vice
President and Member of the Executive board. “Shared open development is fundamental to enabling smart power for the benefit the global economy and the energy landscape of the future. RTE is proud to contribute three significant projects to the LF Energy ecosystem, and we look forward to working closely with The Linux Foundation and the open source community to make our systems smarter and more secure.”

Vanderbilt University is a private research university in Nashville that conducts research in the area of cyber-physical systems through its Institute for Software-Integrated Systems.

“Vanderbilt’s Institute for Software-Integrated Systems has a long track record in building various open source software tools and this is an exciting cross-sector collaboration,” said Gabor Karsai, Associate Director of the Institute. “This initiative will allow us to share our research results with the open source community and facilitate technology transition to industry.”

ENTSO-E, the European Network of Transmission System Operators, represents 43 electricity transmission system operators (TSOs) from 36 countries across Europe.

“ENTSO-E sees the potential for community and collaborative action that the LF Energy initiative offers to pool skills and knowledge in new strategic digital areas,” said Laurent Schmitt, Secretary General, ENTSO-E. “ENTSO-E recognizes the benefits of open source and shared development to develop agility in future digital developments, which is key for ENTSO-E and our TSO community. We have established a first liaison with LF Energy as a strategic option for meeting ENTSO-E’s and the European TSOs’ commitment to a cost effective and secure energy transition. We are pleased to be part of this global announcement.”

The Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) conducts research, development, and demonstration projects for the benefit of the public in the United States and internationally. Its membership has grown to represent approximately 90% of the electric utility revenue generated in the United States and extends to participation in more than 35 countries.

“The Electric Power Research Institute believes a collaborative, innovative, and objective approach is necessary to tackle many of the opportunities ahead for maintaining a safe, reliable, affordable, environmentally responsible, and integrated electric power system,” said EPRI Vice President of Integrated Grid Mark McGranaghan. “This effort will continue to foster that spirit of collaboration, bringing multi-national perspectives to the table to inform globally-impactful work toward our respective and complimentary missions.”

RTE contributed three projects to The Linux Foundation to form LF Energy, and Vanderbilt University will transition its Resilient Information Architecture Platform for Smart Grid (RIAPS) applications technology. These projects will help seed an open source ecosystem for TSOs, distribution system operators, aggregators, utilities, vendors, and other energy sector stakeholders.

More about new LF Energy projects:

  • OperatorFabric: is a smart assistant for system operators for use in electricity, water, and other utility operations. The industrial strength, extensible and flexible grid operations platform provides strategic management of information with a modular approach to applications, easy-to-add new functionality, and open APIs.
  • Let’s Coordinate: an extensible solution of OperatorFabric, enables organizational power system coordination, visibility, communication, and workflow between distributed users across national and regional boundaries.
  • The PowSyBl Framework: of reusable modular components is a high-performance computing platform that enables grid modeling (e.g., CGMES) and simulation in a highly distributed energy resource environment from system expansion studies to planning and operation.
  • RIAPS: The Resilient Information Architecture Platform for Smart Grid (RIAPS) provides core services for building effective, secure and powerful distributed applications. Created at the Institute for Software-Integrated Systems at Vanderbilt University, with support from North Carolina State University, Washington State University, and funding from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency for Energy (ARPA-E), RIAPS enables smart grid control software to run reliably, just as smartphone apps run on platforms like Android and Apple iOS that have become industry standards.

Hardware, software, UI, services, and applications suppliers will work together on these independent technical projects as part of LF Energy to accelerate the energy transition. To learn more about LF Energy or join the effort, go to

About The Linux Foundation
The Linux Foundation is the organization of choice for the world’s top developers and companies to build ecosystems that accelerate open technology development and industry adoption. Together with the worldwide open source community, it is solving the hardest technology problems by creating the largest shared technology investment in history. Founded in 2000, The Linux Foundation today provides tools, training and events to scale any open source project, which together deliver an economic impact not achievable by any one company. More information can be found at

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The Linux Foundation has registered trademarks and uses trademarks. For a list of trademarks of The Linux Foundation, please see our trademark usage page: Linux is a registered trademark of Linus Torvalds.

Why The Energy Industry Needs Open Source Shared Technology

By Resource

Gabriel Bareux, RTE; Lucas Saludjian, RTE; Shuli Goodman, Executive Director LF Energy

Our electricity system is a complex, multi-player system that has slowly evolved over the last 125 years. Investments are made in hard assets – like transformers, relays, switches, generators, and substations – with a 30-80 year lifetime window. This has made the grid both a robust, sustainable, and efficient energy system, and a slow and lumbering management scheme that is resistant to change. The “electrification of everything” imperative driving the energy transition is forcing power systems engineers to become fast students in Moore’s Law of rapid innovation. These conditions – the need for change in a critical 24/7 environment that is a fairly rigid system now requiring immense flexibility – makes for an interesting moment in time and illustrates perfectly why open source shared technology and LF Energy are so critical to accelerating the diffusion of energy innovations. We can be moving and innovating faster – progress is in our hands.

Historically, grid operations are more or less organized in a layered fashion between transmission, distribution, generation, and load. It is the system interfaces between these layers that offers virtualization and communication opportunities – thereby allowing us to do more with less and move from centralized to distributed.

Operating the grid from a command and control paradigm is challenged because:

  • The dynamics of the operation of the grid have become incompatible with post-fault actions relying on solely on human intervention.
  • The rise of variable and distributed renewable energy resources (wind/sun/hydro), coupled with storage and electric mobility, plus the potential offered by demand response and IoT, require entirely new models and ways of facilitating the grid.
  • This exponential increase in the number of potential flexibilities produces a system that is far beyond the capability of a human brain to organize.

To explore but one part of a vast system of systems – take the transmission-distribution interface:

  • The first level of operation is at the centralized control room, which has been responsible for (from a few hours in advance until real-time) the optimal and robust control of grid elements (switches, breakers, voltage set points, HVDC set points, taps of phase shifters) and the balancing of the system (adequacy between generation and demand). These controls have been mainly manual (e.g opening of a breaker), semi-automated (e.g voltage control) or completely automated (primary frequency control) and implemented either as preventive actions or post-fault. Most post-fault actions must be compatible with the ability of an operator to react (minutes) with the help of tools such as SCADA systems.
  • The second level is at the substation.  This is where fast (ms or seconds) automation routines have been implemented to protect humans and physical assets when the grid is stressed beyond its nominal operational limits.

Technological challenges can become opportunities by leveraging new flexibilities to turn previously unimagined advances to our advantage:

  • Artificial intelligence and deep learning algorithms may be used to propose a global, optimal, and robust preventive actions/profiles, while taking into account the flexibilities provided by distributed, fast automations.
  • The ability for fast (seconds) control of sub-areas of the grid using distributed algorithms in digital substations. Smart algorithms can coordinate flexibilities located in tens/hundreds of substations, enabling the preventive profiles provided by the upper layer.
  • The ability to shape and orchestrate load control, along with distributed generation control, can enable grid operators to relax the constraints of grid operation, and/or short-term balancing, in flexible and innovative ways.

Our electricity system has been remarkably dependable, so much so that nearly all of us take it for granted: the grid’s stability, security, and reliability have enabled great social advances and robust economies. Yet, the grid, and power system in general, are brittle and slow to adapt to the social and political imperatives driving the fast pace of change. Timing – from hours, to minutes, to milliseconds – can be facilitated by smart communication between hardware and the system as-a-whole. Mastering the coordination is critical to opening the door to orchestrating and shaping electricity loads and demands through information and communication technology (ICT).

Leveraging open source shared technology, the new LF Energy project from The Linux Foundation is helping to push the envelope with ICT to exponentially increase network capacity as well as accelerate the energy transition and the move to renewable energy, electric mobility, demand response and more. Sign up for the LF Energy newsletter for the latest updates on this exciting new initiative.