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A framework for multi-objective analysis for energy and water policy

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Wednesday, 26 January 2011
A framework for multi-objective analysis for energy and water policy
Alisha R. Fernandez, Penn State Univ., University Park, PA; and S. A. Blumsack, P. M. Reed, and G. W. Characklis

Hydroelectricity is a low-cost low-carbon energy resource, and its flexibility has high value to customers and system operators for providing load following and fill-in power to compensate for intermittencies in non-dispatchable generation resources. The production of hydroelectricity will likely be impacted by changes in the hydrologic cycle attributed to climate change and emerging conflicts with other environmental and river management goals. We develop a multi-objective model with multiple decision-makers and uncertainty in prices and hydro supplies that simulates hydroelectricity operations for a deregulated power utility participating in a day-ahead electricity market in the Pennsylvania-Jersey-Maryland (PJM) territory. Our multi-objective approach addresses the interdependent decisions from multiple competing users and constituents influencing hydropower operations at Kerr Dam in the Roanoke River Basin (RRB). This case study examines a prominent hydroelectricity resource located along the North Carolina-Virginia border, providing many services in a region experiencing accelerated population growth and surface water supply variability. The RRB provides a useful test case for illustrating the tradeoffs among different social objectives and assessing the impacts of alternative river management policies. This framework can be scaled up to assess regional electrical energy production and water supply conflicts and interdependencies, potentially helping modernize water and energy resource policies within geographies experiencing more frequent drought conditions.