U.S. Department of Energy

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

Regional Electricity Production & Use

Model of Electricity Demand

MELD, PRIMA’s Model of Electricity Demand, generates hourly resolution electricity demand profiles for each utility zone based on the building electricity demand model (BEND) results and annual industrial and service demands (including electric transportation) from GCAM-USA. MELD also can represent demand response programs, such as those enabled by smart grid technologies. MELD’s hourly electricity demands reflect the impact of hourly weather at the zonal scale, as well as the broader-scale impacts of energy policy, technology change, and population growth. 

POC: James Dirks

Electricity Operations Model

The Electricity Operations Model, or EOM, simulates the operation of the electric grid at the zonal scale, including inter-zonal transmission constraints, using the demand profiles generated by MELD and the zonal distribution of new generation capacity provided by the Capacity Expansion Regional Feasibility (CERF) model. EOM considers the economics of individual power plants and the transmission system’s ability to dispatch power to meet hourly loads. The model is being linked to PRIMA’s regional water modeling capabilities to assess the impact of changing water resource quality and quantity on electricity operations and, via DOE’s Regional Integrated Assessment Modeling project, to PRIMA’s regional climate model to explore how operations are affected by increasing heat waves.

POCs: Michael CW Kintner-Meyer and Chunlian Jin  

Capacity Expansion Regional Feasibility

CERF, PRIMA’s electricity infrastructure siting model, simulates electric generation power plant siting to assess opportunities and challenges under various climate change, technology, and energy policy scenarios. CERF combines GIS-based, technology-specific siting suitability criteria, existing infrastructure and terrain data, and natural resource availability information with an economic algorithm to address relative locational values in siting as a function of grid interconnections costs and locational marginal prices. Working in conjunction with EOM, CERF downscales the state-level electricity capacity expansion projected by GCAM-USA to investigate its technical and economic feasibility. CERF also is being integrated with PRIMA’s sub-basin scale regional water modeling capability to address the impact of water availability (e.g., for thermoelectric cooling) on power plant siting.

POC: Jennie Rice

PRIMA uses three separate but integrated models to simulate hourly electricity demand, hourly grid operations, and electricity infrastructure siting within a region at a spatial resolution equivalent to an average utility’s service area, or “zone.” These three models work interactively with one another and with the regional climate, water, and integrated assessment models to evaluate how climate and related socioeconomic and environmental changes will affect electricity supply and demand, as well as the implications of these changes for electricity infrastructure and generation mix.

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