Project Background
Role of NC Clean Energy Technology Center
Role of EPIC
PARSG Background & Motivation
Grid Resilience Modeling
PARSG Goals
PARSG Impacts
Stakeholder Meetings
Project Contacts

Project Background

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.
Hurricane Florence nearing the North Carolina Coast in 2018. Photo by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

Role of NC Clean Energy Technology Center

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.

Role of EPIC

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.

PARSG Background & Motivation

U.S. Dept. of Energy, State Energy Program Award
2-year project began in June 2019

Building on & contributing to resilience-related efforts in NC & United States
2023 Duke Energy (DE) Integrated Resource Plan, DE Grid Improvement Plan
NCDEQ Clean Energy Plan & 2023 NC Hazard Mitigation Plan
NARUC, NASEO, U.S. DOE Comprehensive Electricity Planning Task Force (through Feb 2021)

DOE’s Interest
DOE has an interest in developing metrics that can evaluate the societal and economic impact of inflation-adjusted cost of weather-related power outages estimated to be $25 to $70 billion annually in the United States.

Grid Resilience Modeling

Challenge
Investing in a resilient grid does not fit the traditional regulatory framework

For more details on Resilience Modeling Methodology click here.

PARSG Goals

The goal of the PARSG Project is to develop an affordable, resilient and sustainable Grid Roadmap to inform key energy planning processes. To accomplish this:

  • EPIC will utilize Duke Energy’s 2015-2018 outage data to conduct a power system and cost-benefit analyses to assess storm impacts in 3 grid scenarios.
  • NCCETC will lead the stakeholder process to share results and gather input on advanced grid scenarios to inform state energy planning processes.
  • NCDEQ will incorporate findings into the State Risk Assessment and Resiliency Plan, and coordinate with other agencies developing State Hazard Mitigation Plans.

PARSG Impacts

  • Fill specific data and information gaps on the value of resiliency
  • Help inform state policy, utility models and filings, regulators, and other states
  • The road map will provide metrics and illustrative impacts (3 scenarios) with these metrics to educate and inform stakeholders & future decision making

Stakeholder Meetings

Stakeholder groups include utility-related & public staff technical experts including local & state govt., advocacy & environmental, energy trade groups, utilities (IOUs, EMCs, Munis)  large energy users, consulting, project developers, technology providers, and academia.

Role of Stakeholders:

  • Provide guidance and input on what is important to consider for resilience in the 3rd scenario
  • Review modeling efforts and provide feedback
  • Validate work through engagement
  • Provide a diverse set of voices, background, and resources to ensure as many considerations can be included accurately in modeling

Click here to sign up to be informed of stakeholder meetings.

Workshop 1: Webinar on May 19, 2020

  • Presented the project
  • Educated stakeholders on topic and value
  • Provided a framework for 3rd scenario and completed activity to obtain input
  • Received feedback on methodology, results, metrics, etc.

View webinar here.

Workshop 2

Sept/Oct 2020
Agenda

  • Present initial findings – including 3rd scenario prelim results
  • Continue discussion/review on methodology, results, metrics, etc.

Workshop 3

Mar/Apr 2021
Agenda

  • Present findings of the overall project, get feedback and input
  • How can the findings be useful to project goals and applied

 

Project Contacts

N.C. Department of Environmental Quality State Energy Program: Starlette Hodge, star.hodge@ncdenr.gov

NC Clean Energy Technology Center:
Anne Tazewell, aetazewe@ncsu.edu  (stakeholder contact)
Isaac Panzarella, ipanzar@ncsu.edu (technical contact)
Simon Sandler, sbsandle@ncsu.edu (technical contact)

UNC Charlotte EPIC: Rob Cox, robert.cox@uncc.edu

For full PARSG Project presentation click here.

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