ECE – 590 I POWER & ENERGY SYSTEMS SEMINAR
WHEN: Monday, April 17, 2023
WHERE: ECEB 4070, 4:00 – 5:00 p.m.; Zoom Meeting ID: 818 7726 6238; Password: power
SPEAKER: Dr. Kai Van Horn, Senior Consultant, Brattle Group
TITLE: "The Value of Geographic Diversification in Renewable Generation through Transmission Expansion"
ABSTRACT: Over the past decade, US has seen a significant growth in renewable generation to meet the net zero CO2 emissions targets of an increasing number of states. The nation-wide attainment a net zero CO2 emissions target requires the continued integration of huge amounts of additional renewable generation capacity. The transmission grid has a central role to play in this energy transition and the expansion of the bulk grid can provide substantial reduction in the overall investments in the integration of these resources. The quantification of this transmission-related reduction is a rather challenging task as new, analytical approaches, that capture the benefits of added transmission to access low-cost renewable generation to unlock geographic diversity of renewable generation and effectively manage their variability and uncertainty, are required. In this talk, I will discuss the results of our recent study on the expanded transmission grid value in the reduction of the investment costs for the integration of renewable resources into a geographically diversified transmission network. The study showed that, for a grid with integrated renewable resources that supply from 10 – 60 % of the total annual electricity consumption, the interconnection of two separate power market subregions with distinctly diverse wind regimes through new transmission investments can reduce annual production costs by 2 – 23 % and annual renewable curtailments by 45 – 90 %. The study also documents the significance of the explicit consideration of day-ahead forecast uncertainty and real-time variability in the quantification of these values, which have implications in the benefits/costs analyses performed in transmission planning.
BIOGRAPHY: Kai is an expert in leveraging electricity system modeling, analysis, and visualization to illuminate the impacts of the energy transition and to develop and communicate strategic responses. For the last four years, he led a team at National Grid Company to explore pathways towards deep decarbonization in the US northeast and the challenges and opportunities they create for utilities and their customers. He recently rejoined the Brattle Group as a Senior Consultant to apply those same skills to advise a broader range of organizations involved in the energy transition. Kai received a Ph.D. in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.