ISyE Seminar - Destenie Nock

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Title: Power System Planning in Disparate Systems: Modeling Sustainability and Electricity Access


Electricity goals around the world tend to focus on increasing social benefit through one of two things: (1) increasing overall system sustainability or (2) increasing access to electricity. In pursuit of these goals decision makers will need modeling tools that can inform decisions, in a way that is flexible enough to include a wide range of preferences and goals. It is clear that the future generation mix of the power system will change, but the most sustainable solution will change based on a country's goals.

This talk will explore various options for power grid expansion in both developed and developing countries. I present two papers that focus on approaches to power system planning that help decision makers reach their energy targets. The first part is focused on evaluating the sustainability of a set of generation portfolios. We take a multi-model approach, first determining the reliability of the system overall, then evaluating different generation portfolios based on seven sustainability criteria. The second part focuses on the UN Sustainable Development Goals, and energy access in developing countries. We have developed a utility maximization framework that incorporates stakeholder equity preferences into an electricity planning model. This can be used by decision makers to determine the best method of grid expansion to meet electricity access goals subject to system and budget constraints.


Destenie Nock is a Ph.D. Candidate in Industrial Engineering and Operations Research at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, an NSF Graduate Research Fellow, and an Offshore Wind Energy IGERT Fellow. Prior to this she was a Mitchell Fellow in Northern Ireland where she earned an MSc in Leadership for Sustainable Development at Queens University of Belfast. Her research is focused on applying optimization and decision analysis tools to evaluate the sustainability and reliability of the electricity grid in disparate energy systems. She has two B.S. degrees from North Carolina A&T State University in Electrical Engineering and Applied Mathematics.  In addition, she has held internships at Argonne National Lab, the Utility Regulator of Northern Ireland, and Exxon Mobil


  • Workflow Status: Published
  • Created By: sbryantturner3
  • Created: 01/22/2019
  • Modified By: sbryantturner3
  • Modified: 01/22/2019


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