Net-Zero Microgrid Modeling & Development​

Project Info


Idaho National Laboratory
Net-Zero Microgrid Program




Stakeholder engagement; utility coordination; modeling & simulation

Project Overview

  • Techno-economic modeling of a net-zero microgrid at an Oregon wastewater plant
    • 750kW biogas CHP
    • 1.3MW solar PV
    • battery energy storage system
  • Engage stakeholders of four municipal utilities co-located along disused rail line in southeastern Pennsylvania
  • Develop resilient energy corridor concept to network community-scale microgrids
    • Requirements development & data collection
    • DC feeder circuit connecting the microgrids
    • Techno-economic microgrid modeling

Project Description

This project constitutes preliminary microgrid conceptual development and modeling for two distinct locations: a wastewater treatment plant in rural Oregon, and a resilient energy corridor located along a logistically significant travel corridor in southeastern Pennsylvania. 

For task 1, an initial site visit was conducted virtually using Google Earth to verify significant site assets and boundaries. With results in hand, ProtoGen scheduled a physical site visit. One hundred and forty equipment-specific images were collected during the two-day site visit. The visit included a tour and review of site operations. A drone was used to capture more than 2000 images, which were used to create a high-resolution 3D model through a process called photogrammetry. The models were imported into Sketch-Up to further develop 3D modeling of the potential system layouts. This method assures decision makers that the proposed solar PV will physically fit the site with minimal shading from adjacent objects, which can significantly impact solar PV production and energy yield. Three potential solar PV sites were investigated to develop the facility’s maximum hosting capacity. XENDEE was then used to develop a range of scenarios that considered various combinations of PV, battery energy storage systems, and increased fuel for local generation from a bio-digester. Six optimization scenarios ultimately emerged for consideration that formed the contours of potential solution sets.

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