U.S. Department of Energy

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

Capacity Expansion Regional Feasibility (CERF)

The Capacity Expansion Regional Feasibility (CERF) model was developed to constrain generation capacity expansion in electric power systems (Vernon et al., submitted). CERF evaluates the “on the ground” feasibility of generation expansion plans produced by GCAM for the U.S. by addressing the locational impacts of climate, climate policy, environmental regulations, land use constraints, water availability, as well as locational economic considerations such as energy value and interconnection costs. CERF currently hosts a suite of exclusion layers that address land use restrictions, sensitive species, terrain, and many other potential siting constraints that must be considered in the U.S. After exclusion areas have been determined, CERF utilizes its economic algorithm to determine the net locational cost, which is the difference between a technology’s interconnection cost and its annualized net operating value in each suitable grid cell. The major outputs of CERF include siting feasibility and corresponding generation capacity as well as interconnection costs. CERF is currently being used to analyze how siting analysis can help constrain technology-specific energy supply projections from GCAM, as well as how future storm surges might affect power plant siting.

Example of technology-specific suitability method
Example of technology-specific suitability method

 

Examples of composite suitability layers for four technologies.
Examples of composite suitability layers for four technologies.  Light green represents suitable siting area and dark purple represents areas where siting is excluded.

 

Example acceptable expansion fulfillment for Florida in 2020
Example acceptable expansion fulfillment for Florida in 2020 using RCP 4.5 assumptions in GCAM-USA.  Lighter-shaded area in the figure is the common exclusion area that applies to all technologies, dark-shading represents area suitable for all technologies.

 

Point of Contact: Chris Vernon

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