Designing California's clean and climate resilient electricity grid for vulnerable communities

Award Recipient: 

Ranjit Deshmukh (Environmental Studies), Michael Ludkovski (PSTAT), Grace Wu (Environmental Studies), Matto Mildenberger (Political Science)

Award Date: 

Friday, September 1, 2023

Professor Mike Ludkovski was awarded with California Climate Action Seed and Matching Awards 2023. Congratulations!  

Project summary: Our project will develop models and tools to ensure that disadvantaged communities (DAC) are able to fully participate in – and receive the benefits of – California’s resilient decarbonization pathways. Our focus is on electrification of end-use loads and the deployment of distributed energy resources (DERs), to study their economic and local environmental costs and benefits and their ability to ensure reliable operation in the face of probabilistic climate extremes. In the first thrust we aim to understand current adoption preferences for electrified end uses and DERs via surveys and predict the propensity of adoption under various policy intervention scenarios. In the second thrust, our aim is to design and compare the performance of various microgrid configurations in DACs using climate zone specific demand profiles, rooftop and urban infill solar availability and existing distribution infrastructure capacity. In the third thrust, our objective is to identify which DERs and electrified loads can enhance grid resilience and reliability in climate and weather extreme events. In the final thrust, our goal is to determine whether and how economic incentives (e.g., new electricity pricing models) can deliver benefits to customers, the transmission network and electric utilities, by enabling electrified load and DER adoption prior to system upgrades, and enable revenue generation/bill savings from engaging in wholesale electricity market services. Community partners for the project include electric utilities (Southern California Edison, Sacramento Municipal Utility District, PG&E), the Electric Power Research Institute, the California Public Utilities Commission, and Environmental Justice organizations and communities through NREL and GridLab.