The generation of digital tools resulting from my research has a double purpose. First, it intends to attract audiences with a lack of computational experience, to assess the impact of different policies on the electric power sector. By using open-source databases and generating user-friendly models, I seek to remove barriers preventing researchers to explore changes in the energy landscape. Second, it aims to aid the instruction of energy systems courses, by allowing lecturers to create figures and maps that can be incorporated as audiovisuals.

1. Siting of Utility-Scale Solar Projects (SUSP) Toolbox

The ArcGIS PRO® Siting of Utility-Scale Solar Projects (SUSP) toolbox, enables the identification of the potential and associated cost of developing utility-scale solar projects in a defined geographical area (North Carolina). The toolbox is composed of three modules: 1) Identify Suitable Sites, 2) Construct Cost Curves, and 3) Visualize Results.

The first module allows the user to select values for five physical constraints (i.e. distance to airports, distance to substations, minimum slope of the parcel, maximum slope of the parcel, and minimum parcel size) used to identify sites that are suitable for the development of utility-scale projects. Additionally, it includes a visualization option to generate maps containing the results from each of the stages of the screening methodology.

The second module allows the user to select a set of parameters representing the economic costs of developing a project like the costs of grading the land or clearing the forest, as well as some parameters representing the engineering limitations to install single-axis or fixed-tilt solar panels. The third module allows the user to select different visualization options to create maps and figures with the spatial distribution of the parcels identified as suitable.

2. Production-cost model (Day-Ahead Unit Commitment and Real-Time Economic Dispatch)

As part of the first chapter of my doctoral dissertation, I programmed a production cost model comprised of two modules: 1) a day-ahead unit commitment (DA-UC), and 2) a real-time economic dispatch (RT-ED). Together they simulate the optimal operation of generation assets necessary to satisfy hourly demand and reserve requirements. The DA-UC module identifies the optimal hourly commitment of generators in the day-ahead using a mixed-integer linear program formulation that minimizes an objective function including marginal costs, reserve costs, fixed costs, startup costs, and penalty costs. The RT-ED module uses the schedule of generators from the UC module and the realized values of demand and solar PV production to determine the optimal dispatch of generators and storage in real-time using a linear program formulation that minimizes an objective function representing the operational cost, reserve costs, and penalty costs.

The model represents each of the 221 conventional electric power generators currently operating in the 56,573 square miles of the service territory of Duke Energy Carolinas (DEC) and Duke Energy Progress (DEP).

If you are interested in having access to the model just email me.

3. EGOVA (ERCOT’s Generator Outage Visualization App)

EGOVA can be used to examine the spatiotemporal distribution of outage/derate events during ERCOT’s 2021 energy crisis.

The tool can be accessed at

A supporting document describing the pre-processing and data included can be downloaded at

The Excel version of the database can be downloaded at

This EGOVA-generated visualization shows the progression of events using a 1-minute time span and one-hour time steps including three counters summarizing the following information at each time span and for each type of fuel (including BES):

a) Number of generators or BES units reported out

b) Capacity reduction (MW)

c) Seasonal Assessment of Resource Adequacy (SARA) capacity shortage (expected capacity – observed capacity)  (MW)