Leveraging Energy Efficiency, Demand Respond, and Solar Energy Resources for Resilient Energy Assurance of Critical Community Services
The incidence of extreme weather and natural disasters has increased in recent years. Communities affected by such events often experience compromised electrical transmission and distribution systems; resulting in large numbers of buildings and operations without electrical service for often long durations until utility electrical service restoration. Buildings and operations which provide critical community services during such events – incident management, public safety, sheltering, social services, etc. – have significant requirements for resilient backup power systems which provide necessary functionality in the absence of electricity supplied by an electric utility. The resiliency of the backup power systems which support these critical community services unfortunately are subject to many constraints and issues – e.g. potential fuel supply shortages if diesel generators, lack of suitable natural gas pressure if using natural gas generators and compressors and pumps in the natural gas distribution system are also without electricity, etc. – which are at the same time affecting the larger utility system which would normally supply such electricity. In order to increase the resiliency of these backup power systems, this paper evaluates strategies to integrate energy efficiency, demand response, and renewable energy with conventional backup power systems to provide a significant enhancement of backup power system resiliency over conventional backup power systems alone. Moreover, this paper provides a methodology to optimize such multi-energy-resource contributions to the backup power system resiliency at an optimal lowest cost. This paper presents two case studies in support of strategy evaluation and methodology development.