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Journal Paper Accepted: Relative Merits of Load Following Reserves & Energy Storage Market Integration Towards Power System Imbalances

We are happy to announce that our recent paper entitled: “Relative Merits of Load Following Reserves & Energy Storage Market Integration Towards Power System Imbalances”, has been published in the International Journal of Electrical Power & Energy Systems (IJEPES). This study comes as a result of collaboration between three universities; Masdar Institute, Dartmouth, and MIT. The work is authored by Aramazd Muzhikyan (Masdar Institute), Prof. Amro M. Farid (Dartmouth) and Prof. Kamal Youcef-Toumi (MIT).

The existing energy storage resource (ESR) studies bound their discussion to a single timescale of power system operations, such as day-ahead scheduling or real-time balancing. As a result, these studies are only able to capture the impact of the ESR integration on the associated timescale, while any effects that may span across adjacent timescales are omitted. Recently, power grid enterprise control has been developed that integrates different timescales of balancing operations into a multi-layer control hierarchy. The benefits of such holistic power system modeling have been demonstrated for studies on renewable energy integration, the determination of the power system imbalances and the assessment of reserve requirements.

This paper integrates ESRs into the power system enterprise control for the first time. While the ESR integration is expected to mainly affect its associated timescale, such methodology also allows capturing the potential impact on adjacent timescales. If such coupling of timescales exists, it can be exploited to reduce the system resource requirements. This methodology is also used to demonstrate the differences in imbalance mitigation performance of ESRs and load following reserves. While both these resources can be used for balancing the system, the enterprise control methodology unveils their differences and relative merits for different balancing scenarios. The notion of ‘‘utilization efficiency’’ of a given resource is introduced here which is defined as the amount of that resource required to mitigate 1MW of imbalance.

A novel ESR scheduling method has also been developed in this paper that beneficially exploits the coupling between different timescales. Since the day-ahead market has hourly time step, the obtained generation schedule has a stair-like profile with constant values for each hourly interval. However, such stair-like profile does not capture the intra-hour variations of the demand, leading to higher load following reserve requirement. Taking advantage of the timescale coupling, a sub-hourly ESR profile is designed based on the day-ahead market output that, in addition to the traditional benefits of shaving the peak load and reducing the operating cost, also simultaneously reduces the load following reserves requirement. The newly designed ESR schedule is based on piecewise linear harmonic functions and resembles the smooth demand profile within hourly intervals.

The results show that the ESR and the load following reserves have different performances and are better suited for applications in different circumstances. While the utilization efficiency is nearly constant for the load following reserves, the performance of the ESR significantly depends on the temporal characteristics, namely the net load variability and the day-ahead market time step. Higher variability and smaller day-ahead market time step result in better ESR utilization efficiency. The results also show that the generation schedule of the system without ESR has a stair-like form, while the total generation+ESR schedule of the system with ESR integration has a much smoother form and more closely resembles the actual demand profile. This difference defines the actual load following reserve requirement for each system. The results show that the load following reserve requirement of the system with ESR integration is significantly lower compared to the traditional system without ESR.


The comparison of the schedules for a system without ESR and a system with ESR scheduled according to the proposed method

The difference of load following reserve requirements for systems without and with ESR.

In depth materials on LIINES smart power grid research can be found on the LIINES website.


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Journal Paper Accepted: Opportunities for energy-water nexus management in the Middle East and North Africa

by Brian Keare

We are happy to announce that our paper “Opportunities for Energy-Water Nexus management in the Middle East and North Africa”, has been accepted for publication by the academic journal Elementa: Science of the Anthropocene. This study was the result of collaboration between William N. Lubega (Illinois at Urbana-Champaign) and Prof. Amro M. Farid and William W. Hickman (Dartmouth).

Electric power is required to produce, treat, distribute, and recycle water while water is required to generate and consume electricity. Naturally, this energy-water nexus is most evident in multi-utilities that provide electricity and water but still exists when the nexus has distinct organizations as owners and operators. Therefore, the sustainability question that arises from energy-water trade-offs and synergies is very much tied to the potential for economies of scope.


Furthermore, in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, multi-utilities are not only common, but also the nexus is particularly exacerbated by the high energy intensity of the water supply due to limited fresh water resources. Several accelerating trends are increasingly stressing the existing supply systems of MENA countries: Increased demand due to population and economic growth, a more extreme and unpredictable climate mostly affecting water supply and power demand, and multiple drivers for more electricity-intensive water and more water-intensive electricity including aging infrastructure and certain regulations and standards. This paper identifies and motivates several opportunities for enhanced integrated operations management and planning in the energy-water nexus in multi-utilities in the MENA.

From the discussion of the coupling points between the energy and water systems and operations management strategies to optimize these coupling points, several policy implementations can be drawn. First, the existing approaches to dispatch of the individual products of power and water could be replaced by integrated energy-water dispatch. Second, existing fixed power and water purchase agreements can be replaced with a seamlessly integrated energy-water dispatch. As in liberalized power systems, multiple time horizon markets with their respective clearing mechanisms would be required so as to provide dynamic incentives for greater cost and resource efficiency.  Fourth, the energy-water nexus also presents coupling points that engage the demand side of both power and water. Carefully designed demand-side management schemes, perhaps in the form of public-private partnerships, could present a vehicle for coordinating these coupling points in a cost-effective fashion.

The report also leads to several central policy implications. First, if water consumption and withdrawal of power generation were monetized, the investment case for renewable energy would inevitably be a stronger one. Next, while reverse osmosis desalination plants limit the energy-intensity of water production, from an integrated systems perspective, multi-stage flash plants provide a coproduction functionality that may be preferred over individual reverse osmosis and power generation facilities. Third, while many water utilities across the region have made extensive efforts towards reducing water leakages, such efforts could be strengthened by considering the embedded energy and the associated economic and environmental cost of these leakages. Lastly, there exists both a necessity and opportunity to reduce the energy footprint of water supply in MENA countries through increased water recycling. Utilizing a decentralized treatment system providing multiple water qualities and treatment levels will allow more opportunities for recycled water use in industry, agriculture, and other areas.

In all, the integrated energy-water nexus planning models and optimization programs presented and cited in this work provide deeper perspectives than their single product alternatives found in the existing literature. Their application in the policy domain has a high potential for future work and extension in the MENA region. Furthermore, these techniques have the potential for use in regions of similar climate (e.g. South-West United States & Australia) or other electricity-water utilities around the globe.

In depth materials on LIINES energy-water nexus research can be found on the LIINES websitte.


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Journal Paper Accepted: An A Priori Analytical Method for the Determination of Operating Reserve Requirements

We are happy to announce that our recent paper entitled: “An A Priori Analytical Method for the Determination of Operating Reserve Requirements”, has been accepted at the International Journal of Electrical Power & Energy Systems (IJEPES). This study comes as a result of collaboration between three universities; Masdar Institute, Dartmouth, and MIT. The work is authored by Aramazd Muzhikyan (Masdar Institute), Prof. Amro M. Farid (Dartmouth) and Prof. Kamal Youcef-Toumi (MIT).

As renewable energy becomes an ever present resource in power systems, so called “operating reserves” become increasingly important instruments for reliable power grid operations. One can think of operating reserves as additional generation capacity scheduled to compensate for real-time power supply and demand imbalances due to the existing uncertainties in forecasting not just demand but also renewable energy. On the one hand, the amount of operating reserves should be sufficient to successfully mitigate the real-time imbalances and maintain power system reliable operations. On the other hand, operating reserves are a costly commodity and they should not exceed the minimum required amount to avoid unnecessary expense. This makes accurate assessment of the operating reserve requirements vital for reliable, economic, and environmentally friendly operation of the power grid.

Currently, the necessary amount of the operating reserves is assessed based upon the power system operator experiences and the assumption that the circumstances of power system operations remain relatively unchanged. However, growing integration of renewable energy sources (RES), implementation of demand side management and transportation electrification alter the overall structure and the dynamics of the power grid. High penetration of RES brings new levels of variability and uncertainty to the grid which challenges the established practices of power system operations and the operating reserve requirement assessment methods. This newly published article provides closed-form analytical formulae that tells grid planners how much reserves to procure as they plan for more renewable energy without sacrificing economics or reliability.

While RES integration can potentially reduce the grid’s CO2 emissions and operating costs, it also brings new challenges that power grid operators need to address in order to maintain reliable operations. Wind power, for example, is known to have high intermittency; that is, the output power of a wind turbine may vary uncontrollably in a wide range. This, combined with comparably low wind forecasting accuracy, requires careful scheduling of traditional power plants and their operating reserves. Integration of solar power, on the other hand, has its own challenges. As shown in the figure below, the net load profile (the power demand minus the solar generation) of a system with integrated solar generation has a distinctive profile. It is often called the “Duck Curve” for its resemblance to the side-profile of a duck. The figure presents the net load profiles of the California Independent System Operator (CAISO) for the day of March 31 for forecasted from 2014 to 2020. The “belly” of the curve corresponds to the day time when the solar generation is at its maximum and is expected to grow with new solar power installations. With an estimated demand of 22,000MW in the year 2020, the solar generation accounts for 10,000MW or 45%; leaving only 12,000MW for the traditional generation. This situation increases the risk of overgeneration and solar generation curtailment. Another challenge is the steep jump of the net load around 6pm as solar generation wanes with the sunset and demand picks up for evening home life. Such severe variations of the net load require more careful consideration of the ramping capabilities of the scheduled generation.


The CAISO duck chart (source: P. Denholm, M. O’Connell, G. Brinkman, and J. Jorgenson, “Overgeneration from Solar Energy in California: A Field Guide to the Duck Chart,” National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Nov. 2015)

This publication has developed analytical formulae for calculation of the requirements for each type of operating reserves; namely, load following, ramping and regulation. The derivations show that the operating reserve requirements are effectively defined by a set of dimensionless parameters related to the RES characteristics and the operations of the power grid. Those parameters are the penetration level, renewable energy capacity factor, variability, day-ahead and short-term forecast errors of the integrated RES, and the power grid day-ahead scheduling and real-time balancing time steps. Such analytical expressions reveal how the requirements of each type of reserve will change when, for instance, more renewable energy is integrated, renewable energy forecasting accuracy is improved, and the day-ahead scheduling time step is reduced. This study show that higher RES variability significantly increases the requirements of all three types of reserves. Also, while the impact of the RES forecast error on the ramping reserve requirement is negligible, its impact on the load following and regulation reserve requirements can dominate that of the variability. On the other hand, reducing the day-ahead scheduling time step can mitigate the impact of the variability on the load following reserve requirement while having negligible impact on the ramping and regulation reserve requirements. Also, changing the balancing time step has no noticeable impact on the load following reserve requirement, it has opposing impacts on the ramping and regulation reserve requirements. Reducing the balancing time step reduces the regulation reserve requirement but increases the ramping reserve requirement.

These formulae can be used for renewable energy integration studies, such as those conducted in NE-ISO and PJM-ISO, to assess the required amount of reserves for the planned RES installation. They can also be adapted by the state and federal standards organizations to establish reserve procurement standards that reflect the evolution of the power grid.

In depth materials on LIINES smart power grid research can be found on the LIINES website.


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Prof. Amro M. Farid gives invited lecture at ITE 2016 Northeastern Annual Meeting

On May 11, 2016, Prof. Amro M. Farid gave an invited lecture at the Institute for Transportation Engineers 2016 Northeastern Annual Meeting held in Portsmouth, NH.  The presentation entitled:  “Intelligent Transportation-Energy Systems for Massively Electrified Transportation Infrastructure” featured many of the LIINES’ research on electrified transportation systems.

The presentation advocated the concept of “Intelligent Transportation Energy Systems” which has been the subject of several recent blogposts.  (See here, here, and here).  Electrified modes of transportation: vehicles, buses and trains fundamentally couple the transportation and power grids.   This coupling presents new challenges in the operation of each system which would not have existed if each was operated independently.  At its core, the ITES requires a new transportation electrification assessment methodology that draws upon microscopic traffic simulation, power grid dynamics, and Big Data-Driven use case modeling.  Such an ITES would come to include coupled operations management decisions including:  vehicle dispatching, charging queue management, coordinated charging, and vehicle-to-grid ancillary services.   The presentation concludes with simulation results from the first full scale electric vehicle integration study which was recently conducted for a taxi-fleet use case in Abu Dhabi.

In depth materials on LIINES electrified transportation system research can be found on the LIINES website.


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Congratulations to Deema F. Allan for a Successful M.Sc. Thesis Defense!

The LIINES wants to congratulate Deema F. Allan with a successful defense of her master thesis entitled: Enhance Electric Vehicle Adoption Scenarios for Abu Dhabi Road Transportation. Deema joined the LIINES in 2014 to work on transportation electrification.   The past two and a half years Deema has progressed the research in the lab incredibly as a result of her admirable dedication and perseverance. We wish Deema all the best in her future work and we are confident that her passion will lead to great achievements.

A full reference list of LIINES publications can be found here:

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Journal Paper Accepted at Renewable & Sustainable Energy Reviews – Job Creation Potentials and Skill Requirements in PV, CSP, Wind, Water-to-Energy and Energy Efficiency Value Chains

The LIINES is pleased to announce the publication of the journal paper entitled: “Job Creation Potentials and Skill Requirements in PV, CSP, Wind, Water-to-Energy and Energy Efficiency Value Chains” to the journal of Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews. This paper was authored by T. M. Sooriyaarachchi, I-Tsung Tsai, Sameh El Khatib, Amro M. Farid and Toufic Mezher.

Job creation is a significant outcome of the development and deployment of renewable energy (RE) and energy efficiency (EE) technologies. With the complicated dynamics related to job creation in RE and EE technologies, this paper considers direct, indirect as well as induced employment opportunities resulting from various sustainable energy sectors.

This paper explores the factors affecting job creation, existing techniques for establishing the job creation potentials, and the required skill sets in the sustainable energy sectors namely; solar PV power, Concentrated Solar Power (CSP), wind power, waste-to-energy, and energy efficiency measures. In addition, it provides case studies showcasing the variation of job creation in Germany, Spain, the United States, and the Middle Eastern region.


Figure 1: This figure represents available jobs within various renewable energy sectors. The figure was prepared by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) for the Renewable Energy and Jobs Annual Review 2015 IRENA Policy Day 9 June, 2015. Note that Solar Photovoltaic is the leading employer in the renewable energy sector.

For the RE sector, the study shows that available jobs and required skill sets heavily rely on the technology value chains of the specific industry. A further breakdown of the value chains allows for categorization of these jobs on account of their stability and permanency. On the other hand, jobs within the EE sector fall within educational awareness programs, energy efficient policies and regulations, and energy efficiency retrofitting which includes conducting energy audits and re-designing buildings to apply the necessary energy efficient measures.

The Input-Output matrix and Employment factor methods are considered in assessing the gross and net employment impacts of renewable energy deployment. The paper shows that employment factors vary widely based on the region studied, the size of the RE project, and the decomposition of the value chain. In this paper, employment potential is measured based on capacity installed, money invested or number of temporary and permanent jobs created per year.

The paper also provides a breakdown of skill types and levels required within the various sustainable energy sectors. Additionally, it outlines reasons for skill gaps within these RE sectors and provides recommendations on how to bridge such gaps. It observes that skill shortages or surpluses occur mainly due to poor coordination between RE development initiatives and skill providers such as educational institutions. Planning ahead within the RE and EE sectors to ensure better coordination is therefore, highly recommended.

As for the case studies, it is clear that the PV solar industry is at the forefront of job creation in the RE sector. This article shows the high growth potential of the solar PV industry and thus it’s greater opportunity for job creation. In the United States, energy efficiency strategies are predicted to create more than 4-billion job-years by 2030. Given the renewable energy targets and plans set forth by several countries in the Middle Eastern region, a lot of direct and indirect job opportunities are expected to be created in the coming years.

In analyzing the potential of job creation within the RE sectors, the article recognizes that indirect job losses resulting from phasing out fossil fuels, and the increasing electricity prices play a significant role in determining the actual net employment potential of the RE sector. On the other hand, this paper predicts the continued growth in job creation within the EE sector especially given the necessity for energy efficient measures to aid in curbing climate change.

About the Author:
Steffi Muhanji is completing her bachelor of engineering degree at Thayer School of Engineering at Dartmouth College. Her research interests are in renewable energy systems and electric microgrids. Steffi will be pursuing her PhD at the Thayer School of Engineering starting this fall with Prof. Amro M. Farid as her research adviser.
A full reference list of LIINES publications can be found here:
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Journal Paper Accepted at Journal of Enterprise Transformation – Axiomatic Design Based Human Resources Management for the Enterprise Transformation of the Abu Dhabi Healthcare Labor Pool

The LIINES is happy to announce the publication of the paper entitled: “Axiomatic Design Based Human Resources Management for the Enterprise Transformation of the Abu Dhabi Healthcare Labor Pool” to the Journal of Enterprise Transformation.  The paper is authored by Prof. Inas Khayal and Prof. Amro M. Farid.  To our knowledge, it’s the first regional-scale multi-decade Big Data Healthcare Human Resources Management Study ever conducted and shows the spatial-distribution of retention and attrition rates of the Abu Dhabi Healthcare System in recent decades.
The quality and reliability of a nation’s healthcare system is often driven by the number and diversity of its healthcare professionals. Unfortunately, many developing nations have constrained segments of highly skilled labor and must “import” this human capital. Volatility in key healthcare professions can threaten reliable and sustainable healthcare delivery.
This article considers the development of a healthcare human resources sector in a quickly developing nation as an enterprise transformation problem. In this article, the axiomatic design large flexible system modeling framework is used to assess healthcare delivery capability in Abu Dhabi, UAE.
The Abu Dhabi case study shows significant volatility in the healthcare labor market.
Specifically the evolution of healthcare professional attrition has been on the rise for the last 20 years.
This has caused the net evolution of healthcare professionals to be quite variable.
The below figure shows the variation of profession types across the different areas with most of the fulfillment only in the cities (Abu Dhabi and Al Ain).
The work demonstrates that the axiomatic design theory as applied to large flexible systems can be applied to data-centric methods in human resources management in the context of skills shortages and high attrition rates.
About the Author:
Inas Khayal is an Assistant Professor of Health Policy and Clinical Practice at The Dartmouth Institute within the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth.  Her research interests focuses on on developing systems solutions that curb the growth of chronic disease by apply systems engineering tools and techniques to medicine.
A full reference list of LIINES publications can be found here:    WhiteLogo2
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The LIINES Commitment to Open-Information

 Good science is reproducible.   This means that it must be publicly available, its contributions transparently communicated, and its data accessible.  These are principles that drive the everyday work of every individual’s research at the LIINES.  We now wish to go further and make a commitment to Open-Information.
Beginning today, the LIINES will seek to leverage its website to make all of its research 100% reproducible by the public at large.   This includes:
  • Sharing all input datasets used to conduct the research for which no prior proprietary or security commitments have been made.
  • Producing scientific publications in such a way that scientific peers can accurately verify & validate the work.
  • Making the content of all conference, journal and book-chapter publications freely available in author preprint form.  (Note: Most publishers allow self-archiving and open-distribution of author preprints).
We believe that the LIINES’ research has broad applicability to academia, industry, government and the public at large.   However, traditional publication venues are often only subscribed by academic universities and a handful of well-funded industrial companies.   All-too-often the people that can benefit from this work, never get a chance to see it.   This slows down the work’s potential impact and is counter to the LIINES mission.   It is for these reasons, that the LIINES makes its Open-Information commitment.
While it is natural that making all of this information available will take some time, we will be sure to keep blogging to keep you up to date of new additions to the LIINES website.  For now, feel free to visit the LIINES Datasets Repository which includes both data from our publications as well as a collation of several relevant and openly available datasets.
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Energy-Water-Food Nexus Research Integral to the IEEE Smart Cities Conference

In addition to its overall success, the IEEE Smart Cities Conference also presented significant research on the Energy-Water-Food Nexus.
On Monday, a two-hour energy-water nexus special session was held featuring multiple aspects of LIINES research.
  • The presentation entitled “Extending the Energy-Water Nexus Reference Architecture to the Sustainable Development of Agriculture, Industry  & Commerce.” provided a high level overview of the types of couplings that exist not just within the energy and water infrastructure but also within end-uses in the agricultural, industrial, commercial, and residential sectors.  Water and energy balance principles were used to systematically highlight the existence of trade-off decisions with the energy-water nexus.
  • The presentation entitled “Extending the Utility Analysis and Integration Model at the Energy Water Nexus” featured LIINES research done in collaboration with the Water Environment Foundation (WEF).   This work argued the need for integrated enterprise management systems within the water utility sector to support sustainable decision-making.
  • The presentation entitled “The Role of Resource Efficient Decentralized Wastewater Treatment in Smart Cities” featured LIINES research done in collaboration with the German startup Ecoglobe.  This work argued the need for resource-efficient decentralized wastewater treatment facilities as a key enabling technology in the energy-water-food nexus.  It then presented Ecoglobe’s WaterbaseTM as such a technology.
On Wednesday, a three hour workshop entitled “Smart Food at the University of Guadalajara (UDG)”  was lead by Diana Romero and Prof. Victor Larios.   It featured the university’s efforts to bring hydroponic farming to future cities.  The workshop also highlighted the UDG’s collaboration with the MIT Media Laboratory’s City Farm Initiative.
Both sessions drew participation of 40-50 conference attendees and active dialogue during the Q&A sessions.  It is clear that a smart city — by all definitions — is one that actively manages the supply and demand for energy, water, and food as an integral activity.   These two sessions demonstrated this need and looks to become a central theme within the IEEE Smart Cities Initiative and its flagship international conferences.

A full reference list of energy-water nexus research at the LIINES can be found on the LIINES publication page:  http://engineering.dartmouth.edu/liines

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IEEE Smart Cities Conference Establishes Itself as Premier Conference

Several days ago, we wrote a blog post to announce the beginning of the First IEEE Smart Cities Conference in Guadalajara, Mexico.   Now that the conference draws to a close, we can firmly say that the conference by all measures has been a tremendous success.  The conference had over 500 registered participants drawing from academia, industry, and government — fully in agreement with the triple-helix model of innovation.  From industry, dozens attended from IBM and Intel alone.   The conference also benefited from the presence of the Governor of Jalisco, The Honorable, Aristóteles Sandoval, as well as several generous industrial sponsors.
The conference also distinguished itself for its focus on civic engagement, entrepreneurship, and innovation.   Aside from the ample opportunity for networking and lively conversation, the conference featured a “Student Hackathon”.   For two days, student teams were challenged to develop, in real-time, cloud-based Smart City Apps on iOS and Android platforms.  The winning teams developed apps for smart transportation, healthcare, and community service and won monetary prizes of 500 & 1000USD.  The LIINES wishes these teams all the best as they form small businesses to bring their apps to the market.
With such participation, and despite the landfall of Hurricane Patricia only 24 hours earlier, it is clear that the First International IEEE Smart Cities Conference has established itself as a premier international conference and the flagship of the IEEE Smart Cities Initiative.  Please do stay tuned for announcements for the 2nd International IEEE Smart Cities Conference to be held in the idyllic mountain city of Trento, Italy in September 2016.  Interested readers can join the IEEE Smart City Initiative and its associated LinkedIn group.
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