encoord helps pave the way for the next generation of energy planning professionals
As part of encoord’s mission to enable the energy transition, the company recently collaborated with the University of Colorado Boulder (CU Boulder) College of Engineering and Applied Science to facilitate the use of its modeling software SAInt for a graduate course titled Power System Planning and Operations.
Leading the course was CU associate professor Dr. Bri-Mathias Hodge, supported by Marija Markovic and Dr. Rozhin Eskandarpour. Assisting the students with the use of SAInt were encoord’s CEO Dr. Carlo Brancucci, Energy Systems Modeler Dr. Jose David Alverez Guerrero, and Data Lead Will Frazier.
“I'd like to acknowledge the partnership and commitment to fostering the next generation of energy professionals,” Dr. Eskandarpour said. “As the industry undergoes rapid changes, such partnerships that prioritize education and real-world applications will be instrumental in ensuring a sustainable energy future.”
The course focused on bulk power system planning and operations, with special emphasis on systems with high variable renewable energy penetrations. Electricity markets were also presented, and the differences with vertically integrated utilities were discussed. Students developed an understanding of electricity market dynamics, the application of optimization problems in bulk power system operations, and the integration of renewables and energy storage.
“The topics covered are important for the energy industry's future,” Marija said. “They lay the groundwork for understanding power system operations and planning, and shed light on how emerging technologies like energy storage can impact and reshape power system operations in the future.”
The course concluded with a project utilizing encoord’s software SAInt to run a production cost model to simulate bulk power systems operations under various scenarios. SAInt allowed students the ability to model, visualize, and analyze different power systems with high penetrations of renewable energy, and the ability to build their power system models to represent actual cities, regions, and countries.
This addition of SAInt to the Power System Planning and Operations course marked the first time it has been used in an educational setting. The College of Engineering and Applied Science has been adapting this course with new technologies and concepts in the energy industry to provide students with tools that provide better understanding of the concepts and less work juggling disparate platforms and tools.
“When I took the course over 5 years ago, we did not have a tool like SAInt,” encoord’s Will Frazier said. “Instead, we had to build our own production cost model from scratch. I think this prevented many of the students from getting all they could have from the course, because the concepts are very abstract and without the graphical user interface to visualize and communicate the results, I think it is difficult for many students to truly grasp what is happening in a production cost model.”
This course marked the beginning of an ongoing partnership between encoord and CU Boulder to help upcoming energy planning professionals better understand the role of energy network modeling and planning in the energy transition.
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