Smart utility systems for rural electric cooperatives
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Rural communities are facing pressure to increase broadband connectivity for their residents to maintain economic growth, however, due to their low populations, broadband projects are typically not financially feasible with current investment models. The Post Road Foundation project team evaluated the financial feasibility of distributed wind and solar energy resources for Presque Isle Electric and Gas (PIEG), a utility cooperative in Northern Michigan. The team identified that solar installations for Commercial and Industrial customers in the 250kW range could be financially viable due to increased array sizes and rate structure incentives. In order to further test the feasibility of solar and battery arrays for larger utility customers, the team built a long short term recurrent neural network to aid in prediction of future load profile. This load profile was used to optimize solar array and battery size to minimize capital investment costs and reduce payback periods.
NPS CIVINS (Civilian Institutions) Thesis documentApproved for public release; distribution is unlimitedCapstone Project