Sandia National Laboratories
Exceptional service in the national interest
The electric grid Multi-objective Decision Plan (MOD-Plan) helps grid planning frameworks better account for—and indicate tradeoffs between—emerging objectives for energy justice and equity, resilience, and decarbonization alongside traditional grid planning objectives.
Traditionally, electric grid planning strives to maintain safe, reliable, efficient, and affordable service for current and future customers. As social expectations and policies evolve, additional considerations for grid planning are emerging, such as energy justice and equity, resilience, and decarbonization. Clean energy goals—including decarbonization—are changing the mix of resources on the electric grid and creating new requirements for its function and structure. The increased frequency and severity of natural disasters over the last two decades and cybersecurity concerns have elevated resilience as a key planning objective. More recently, energy justice and energy equity has emerged as an important consideration to ensure that disadvantaged communities are not adversely affected by grid modernization and have equal access to its benefits.
Traditional planning frameworks must address these new planning goals of energy justice and equity, resilience, and decarbonization. To do so, planning frameworks require new methods to be incorporated into current practices. In addition, a practical approach is needed to form balanced strategies that address the full set of grid planning goals.
Sandia National Laboratories and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory support DOE objectives through applied research on Multi-Objective Decision Planning focused on advancing traditional grid planning methodologies to incorporate energy justice and equity, decarbonization, and resilience goals.
In our work, we:
Existing approaches to grid planning require modification to account for pathways to renewable-dominated systems and the increased amount of inherently variable power generation.
Many historically disadvantaged communities face high financial burdens for electric service, poor levels of grid resilience, unequal access to clean energy opportunities, and/or energy-related environmental deterioration and damage.
Addressing these inequities through grid planning can expand to investigate the social dimensions of electricity system delivery and investments, but it is a multi-dimensional and multi-disciplinary problem.
The degree to which the electric system is flexible may allow more manageable and cost-effective integration of renewable energy resources at increasing levels, facilitate stronger grids and system- and local-scale buffering, and enable social objectives by assuring reliable and affordable electric service.
Planners may use flexibility metrics as a proxy for evaluating progress toward objectives.
Through new, performance-based resilience quantification approaches, our research enables resilience to be considered and weighed directly alongside other objectives.
This program is developing a multi-objective planning process, along with providing insight into novel metrics, methods, and tools to support this planning process.
The U.S. Department of Energy, Sandia National Laboratories, and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory are working together as partners on this joint program. Sandia and PNNL are engaged with stakeholders around the country to guide and give new perspectives for the ongoing research.
Sandia National LaboratoriesDr. Brian J. Pierre(505)firstname.lastname@example.org
Pacific Northwest National LaboratoryRebecca O’Neil(971)email@example.com
U.S. Department of EnergyJoseph Paladinojoseph.firstname.lastname@example.org
MOD-Plan Project Overview