Graduate Thesis Or Dissertation


Renewable Energy in the Pacific Northwest - Technical and Economic Analysis of 100% Renewable Portfolios, including Seasonality Impacts and Potential Applications of Energy Storage Public Deposited

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  • Renewable electrical energy sources are relatively easy to integrate at moderate penetrations, utilizing a combination of technical and market methods to increase grid flexibility. However, integrating high renewable portfolios is more challenging, and the optimal combination of resources will vary depending on the features of specific geographic areas. This study evaluates 100% renewable portfolios in the Pacific Northwest, including existing hydropower as a renewable source, plus existing and new wind, solar, wave and biomass generation. Using detailed time series data for a four-year period, a resistive power grid analysis, plus macro level cost estimates for new renewable generation, a set of diverse portfolios was selected for further analysis. With significant seasonality challenges in the Pacific Northwest, these portfolios provide a range of generation resources, capital and annual costs, and match/mismatch to load, allowing the impact of energy storage to be analyzed. If the amount of new biomass is constrained to 15%, the lowest cost portfolios include significant wave generation (20 – 30%). Pumped hydro storage reduces unserved load during the low hydro/wind generation season (summer/fall) by an average of $2.8M per year, and reduces curtailment during the high generation season by an average of $41k per year. The important contribution of this study is the modeled importance of wave energy and pumped hydro storage with high penetrations of variable renewable energy in the Pacific Northwest.
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