Access to reliable and sustainable electricity is still precluded for a large share of global population living in rural areas of developing countries, especially in sub-Saharan Africa. Hybrid microgrids are considered a suitable solution for providing affordable and reliable access to electricity to isolated communities. Properly planning and sizing such systems is although an aspect that can greatly influence the sustainability of the intervention, and the arrival to the market of the third generation minigrids poses new challenges to the process. Three main challenges are identified as pivotal for the proper sizing of new generation microgrids: arrival of the main grid, inappropriateness of Net Present Cost as only objective function in the strategy selection process, and necessity to operate on already existing minigrids. Such aspects are addressed in this work by proposing a methodological advancement to an existing open-source microgrid sizing model: a grid outage model alongside the definition of new constraints and variables for the optimization problem with grid-connected microgrids, a multi-objective optimization option, and a brown-field optimization option. The new version of the model is tested on real life case studies in rural Rwanda (greenfield) and Mozambique (brownfield), proving the profitability of grid-connected and grid-extension solutions for sufficiently low connection distances. Sensitivity analyses are performed to assess variations in system size, cost and CO2 emissions with respect to microgrid and grid connection parameters.

Planning third generation minigrids: Multi-objective optimization and brownfield investment approaches in modelling village-scale on-grid and off-grid energy systems

Nicolo Stevanato;Gianluca Pellecchia;Ivan Sangiorgio;Diana Shendrikova;Castro Antonio Soares;Riccardo Mereu;Emanuela Colombo
2023-01-01

Abstract

Access to reliable and sustainable electricity is still precluded for a large share of global population living in rural areas of developing countries, especially in sub-Saharan Africa. Hybrid microgrids are considered a suitable solution for providing affordable and reliable access to electricity to isolated communities. Properly planning and sizing such systems is although an aspect that can greatly influence the sustainability of the intervention, and the arrival to the market of the third generation minigrids poses new challenges to the process. Three main challenges are identified as pivotal for the proper sizing of new generation microgrids: arrival of the main grid, inappropriateness of Net Present Cost as only objective function in the strategy selection process, and necessity to operate on already existing minigrids. Such aspects are addressed in this work by proposing a methodological advancement to an existing open-source microgrid sizing model: a grid outage model alongside the definition of new constraints and variables for the optimization problem with grid-connected microgrids, a multi-objective optimization option, and a brown-field optimization option. The new version of the model is tested on real life case studies in rural Rwanda (greenfield) and Mozambique (brownfield), proving the profitability of grid-connected and grid-extension solutions for sufficiently low connection distances. Sensitivity analyses are performed to assess variations in system size, cost and CO2 emissions with respect to microgrid and grid connection parameters.
2023
Microgrid, Access to energy, Rural electrification, Multi-objective optimization, Brown-field investment
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11311/1232423
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