The Power Systems Unit (USE) is INESC Porto main actor in the areas of electrical energy. The Unit employs close to 70 collaborators, including 16 PhD holders. It is internationally recognised for its expertise in problems relating to the integration of wind power and renewable energy in general in power systems. USE is also recognised in the areas of distributed generation and smart-grids, the areas traditionally associated with planning and operating power systems. The high level of expertise developed has allowed specialists at USE to take on key roles in important EU projects as part of the successive framework programmes that led to notable scientific and technical advances with considerable impact on industry. This has led to contracts for development and consultancy with companies manufacturing equipment, generation, transmission and distribution companies, regulators, government agencies and investors in Europe, South America, the United States of America and Africa. INESC Porto develops expertise in several research areas, namely:

• Integration of Renewable Energy Sources in Transmission Systems – development of studies for the Portuguese and Spanish TSOs to evaluate reserve requirements of each system through reliability analysis, with large scale integration of renewable sources; participation in EU project ANEMOS.PLUS on the optimal management of electricity grids linked to large-scale wind power generation; and development of steady-state and dynamic behavior analysis for the integration of wind parks for wind park developers.

• Microgeneration and Microgrids – participation in the EU-financed MICROGRIDS and MORE MICROGRIDS projects aiming to study technical/economic feasibility of large-scale integration of microgenerators along with controllable loads and storage devices in LV grids.

• Electric Vehicle Integration in the Distribution Grid – Scientific coordination of the EU-financed MERGE project aiming at evaluating the impacts of EV on the EU electric power systems regarding planning, operation and market functioning and the national REIVE project in collaboration with the Industry, where the impacts of EV in LV networks will be evaluated in a test bed, under a laboratorial environment where the major elements of a LV network are present.

• Development of a technical architecture for the implementation of a fully active distribution network – INOVGRID project, which involves the installation of 6 million of smart-meters and was launched by the Portuguese DSO, addresses the need to introduce more intelligence to manage and control distribution networks in order to progress towards the smartgrid paradigm, giving support to all new smart metering and commercial processes.