Planning an Affordable, Resilient, and Sustainable Grid in North Carolina
North Carolina received a $300,000 competitive award from the U.S. Department of Energy for a joint project by the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), UNC Charlotte’s Energy Production and Infrastructure Center (EPIC), and the NC Clean Energy Technology Center (NCCETC) at NC State University. “We are partnering on a project that will examine storm-related impacts and the costs and benefits of investments in grid resiliency as recommended in the NC Clean Energy Plan,” said Sushma Masemore, State Energy Director.
The two-year project, “Planning an Affordable, Resilient, and Sustainable Grid in North Carolina,” (PARSG) will include opportunities for interested stakeholders to review the metrics developed by the research team and to provide input into an increased resilience grid scenario focused on enabling a more decentralized resilient grid, including micro/mini grids that can support critical services, such as hospitals, in the case of power outages.
The research team will investigate storm-related impacts under three scenarios:
Scenario 1: Current grid
Scenario 2: Proposed grid improvement plan
Scenario 3: More resilient technologies; i.e. increased distributed generation, microgrids, mini-grids, etc.
The cost to society after a major weather-related disaster can be far greater than the cost required to invest in resilience, but unfortunately, there are not good methods or metrics to evaluate these investments. To address this question, EPIC will analyze outage data provided by Duke Energy following major weather-related disasters that have impacted North Carolina over the last several years. Once this baseline information is known, EPIC will consider the potential impact of Duke Energy’s proposed grid-hardening measures, including distribution automation and undergrounding power lines. The team will also consider the potential impact of the increased resilience grid scenario that would include incentives for micro grids and other advanced technologies.
NC Clean Energy Technology Center’s Role
The NCCETC will lead an initial stakeholder meeting in May 2020 to present the project and seek input into and comment on the technical and economic analysis on the advanced scenario. A second meeting will provide initial findings including the advanced grid scenario’s preliminary results and opportunities for stakeholders to consider the technical, policy, and economic analysis conducted, while also taking into account future affordability, reliability, and resilience. A third meeting will present the findings of the overall project and request additional input and feedback. Finally, a roadmap that combines the techno-economic analysis and stakeholder input will be developed to help inform future utility resilience-related processes.
More links with information on the PARSG Project can be found in the left sidebar of this webpage.
For the full PARSG Project presentation click here.