An Evaluation of the Economic and Resilience Benefits of a Microgrid in Northampton, Massachusetts
Recent developments and advances in distributed energy resource (DER) technologies make them valuable assets in microgrids. This paper presents an innovative evaluation framework for microgrid assets to capture economic benefits from various grid and behind-the-meter services in grid-connecting mode and resilience benefits in islanding mode. In particular, a linear programming formulation is used to model different services and DER operational constraints to determine the optimal DER dispatch
... imal DER dispatch to maximize economic benefits. For the resiliency analysis, a stochastic evaluation procedure is proposed to explicitly quantify the microgrid survivability against a random outage, considering uncertainties associated with photovoltaic (PV) generation, system load, and distributed generator failures. Optimal coordination strategies are developed to minimize unserved energy and improve system survivability, considering different levels of system connectedness. The proposed framework has been applied to evaluate a proposed microgrid in Northampton, Massachusetts that would link the Northampton Department of Public Works, Cooley Dickenson Hospital, and Smith Vocational Area High School. The findings of this analysis indicate that over a 20-year economic life, a 441 kW/441 kWh battery energy storage system, and 386 kW PV solar array can generate $2.5 million in present value benefits, yielding a 1.16 return on investment ratio. Results of this study also show that forming a microgrid generally improves system survivability, but the resilience performance of individual facilities varies depending on power-sharing strategies.