The CCREEE’s IRRP programme continues in Belize, Guyana, and Trinidad and Tobago. Initial project schedules have been extended to account for several challenges experienced last year. These included the COVID-19 pandemic, several national elections and incidentally, more localized challenges related to the impact of various hazards across 2020.
Modelling now Underway
All three IRRPs are currently focused, in some way, on modelling activities. In the IRRP methodology, representative models of the existing power system and possible future systems are critical elements of the overall analysis. Demand is modeled using top-down econometric techniques or bottom-up models of consumption activity, depending on the available data. Various software tools have been used to date, but going forward the CCREEE will use the Stockholm Environment Institute’s Low Emissions Analysis Platform (LEAP) and focus on bottom-up approaches as much as possible. Techno-economic models represent the pertinent technical characteristics, operational details and costs of the system and potential development scenarios. CCREEE’s IRRP employs Energy Exemplar’s PLEXOS software for this purpose. Grid models, on the other hand, focus on representation of the transmission and distribution network by modelling its key electrical, operational and control characteristics. These are developed in DIgSILENT PowerFactory. With these system models, one can then simulate operations, explore possibilities, and optimize decisions.
In Trinidad and Tobago (T&T), demand projection work is underway. An initial evaluation of submitted demand datasets and information has been conducted. The provided datasets are a solid foundation; the IRRP team is now exploring what further analysis can add value for stakeholders. The PLEXOS model for the existing system is currently under development and expected to be followed in quick succession by the development of the future scenarios identified by T&T’s major stakeholders. The initial power system grid model for the twin island state was recently completed and submitted to the Trinidad and Tobago Electricity Commission (T&TEC), for validation.
In Guyana, the demand forecast was completed in earlier part of 2021. Stakeholder feedback submitted during the review period was then incorporated, to the benefit of the final product. The power system grid model is now in late-stage development. Guyana Power and Light Inc. (GPL), Guyana’s electric utility, also uses PLEXOS and so were able to feed their own operational model into the process. This has already been assessed and will form the foundation of the analysis going forward, with any modifications required to make it fit for purpose. That model, alongside additional system data, investment plans, constraints and confirmed scenarios will be used to support the next steps in the process. Guyana’s process has seen strong utility participation, which in turn has strengthened the product and their internal capacity to deliver more of it in the future.
For Belize the project has progressed well, albeit slightly differently. Following the foundational activities completed last year – the demand projection, initial scenarios, and stakeholder engagement – the techno-economic model of the existing system was then developed. This was done through an iterative process of stakeholder working meetings, incorporation of stakeholder feedback, and presentation of updates. Following this, the initial scenarios were pared down, and modelled. Simulations were undertaken, and the first preliminary results were recently shared with stakeholders for a first round of feedback. The PowerFactory power system grid modelling will now ramp-up, and in conjunction with the techno-economic model, allow the full investigation of system. Demand analysis was done in Excel, and a LEAP model is being developed for the longer term.
Capacity Development in Full Stride
In addition to the work done to advance each country’s IRRP, several capacity building sessions were held by the CCREEE in Q1 2021 to build regional stakeholder capacity. These were capacity building sessions on Wind Resource Assessment, Hydropower Integration, Data Collection, PLEXOS, Climate Vulnerability Modelling, Introduction to Grid Modelling, and Basic Grid Impact Studies.
For the CCREEE, capacity building is key as the Centre endeavours to impart skills and experiences which permit technical staff within regional utilities, regulatory bodies and ministries of energy to best support the region’s energy transition, resiliently. Engagement during the mentioned capacity development session was high, with significant questions asked and answered and hearty discussion. The sessions focusing on wind resource assessments and grid modelling were among the most popular.
The Basic Grid Impacts Studies capacity building sessions spanned two days with one country session per day. The aim of the session was to introduce participants from Guyana and Trinidad and Tobago to DIgSILENT PowerFactory and to exhibit the examination of scenarios most relevant to the energy transition. On the first day of the interactive capacity building session employees from Guyana Power and Light Inc. were engaged in the training and had the opportunity to experience the software by manipulating a model of the Guyana grid. On the second day of the training members from T&TEC and the University of the West Indies (UWI), St. Augustine Campus explored the software on a generic grid model.
About the CCREEE IRRP Programme
Within the CCREEE’s Climate Resilience Strategic Programme, the Centre is undertaking the development of IRRPs for CARICOM Member States, as outlined above. These IRRPs are facilitated by kind financial support from the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), the European Union (EU), the Austrian Development Agency (ADA), the United Nations of Industrial and Development Organisation (UNIDO), the Kingdom of Spain through AECID, and technical support from the German Corporation for International Cooperation (GIZ), through the Technical Assistance Programme for Sustainable Energy in the Caribbean (TAPSEC).
The CCREEE also benefited from support to the IRRP Programme’s capacity development initiatives from the US Agency for International Development (USAID), through the National Renewable Energy Laboratory of the US Department of Energy (NREL).