Community resilience-oriented optimal micro-grid capacity expansion planning: The case of totarabank eco-village, New Zealand
journal contributionposted on 2021-08-16, 08:49 authored by Soheil MohseniSoheil Mohseni, Alan BrentAlan Brent, Daniel BurmesterDaniel Burmester
In the grid-tied micro-grid context, energy resilience can be defined as the time period that a local energy system can supply the critical loads during an unplanned upstream grid outage. While the role of renewable-based micro-grids in enhancing communities’ energy resilience is well-appreciated, the academic literature on the techno-economic optimisation of community-scale micro-grids lacks a quantitative decision support analysis concerning the inclusion of a minimum resilience constraint in the optimisation process. Utilising a specifically-developed, time-based resilience capacity characterisation method to quantify the sustainability of micro-grids in the face of different levels of extended grid power outages, this paper facilitates stakeholder decision-making on the trade-off between the whole-life cost of a community micro-grid system and its degree of resilience. Furthermore, this paper focuses on energy infrastructure expansion planning, aiming to analyse the importance of micro-grid reinforcement to meet new sources of electricity demand—particularly, transport electrification—in addition to the business-as-usual demand growth. Using quantitative case study evidence from the Totarabank Subdivision in New Zealand, the paper concludes that at the current feed-in-tariff rate (NZ$0.08/kWh), the life cycle profitability of resilience-oriented community micro-grid capacity reinforcement is guaranteed within a New Zealand context, though constrained by capital requirements.