Northrop Grumman Corporation has formed the Maximizing and Optimizing Renewable Energy (M.O.R.E.) POWER initiative, which leverages RMSC's on-demand supercomputing resources and Northrop Grumman's unique site selection tool to help identify the most efficient and productive networks of wind and solar farms for renewable energy projects. With support from the Montana Governor's Office of Economic Development for a proof of concept, it has been demonstrated that M.O.R.E. POWER can reduce the financing and operating costs of a network of wind energy farms and accelerate their return on investment.
"More than 15 years of research and operations in weather and climate modeling, supercomputing applications, and optimization technology for the U.S. government has been applied to the site selection tool that enables M.O.R.E. POWER, and this technology has now been adapted for wind and solar farm networks," said Dr. Robert Brammer, vice president and chief technology officer for Northrop Grumman's Information Systems sector. "Significant progress is being made in Montana and Northrop Grumman looks forward to a continued partnership with the state and RMSC in support of establishing the Rocky Mountain region as a renewable energy leader in North America."
Renewable energy generation experiences variability of power generation, which presents integration challenges for the electrical grid. M.O.R.E. POWER lowers the cost of operations by identifying an optimized network of farm locations which minimizes intermittency through site diversity, while still maximizing saleable energy. This is accomplished through the selection of a distributed network of farms that are not dependent on the same localized wind and/or cloud cover conditions.
The M.O.R.E. POWER solution employs a network optimization model developed by Northrop Grumman for wind and/or solar farm site selection. The solution uses wind and solar radiation databases developed by Northrop Grumman as the basis for choosing the most productive alternative energy farm locations. The network optimization model and databases are hosted on RMSC computational resources where the actual computations are performed.
"M.O.R.E. POWER answers the 'where' question in green energy development by calculating which combination of candidate farm locations will result in the highest wind or solar energy production and the least variance in power generation," said Earl J. Dodd, executive director for RMSC. "M.O.R.E. POWER was designed for renewable energy developers and investors, as well as state governments and regional energy authorities. Once a wind or solar energy site has been built, this service could also provide operational forecasts to maintain maximum efficiency of the facility, a farm and even multiple farms geographically dispersed."
Northrop Grumman's investment in regional climate modeling is addressing the potential mitigation and adaptation needs of climate change. This investment is also being leveraged with M.O.R.E POWER to address the needs of renewable energy. M.O.R.E. POWER is capable of finding an optimized network of farm locations for combined wind and solar networks, and accommodating various constraints including number of sites, geographic restrictions, power-grid locations and total power generation.
Northrop Grumman and RMSC are collaborating to provide M.O.R.E. POWER services for the state of Montana to help establish governance guidelines for the state's expansion of wind generation.