Advanced Software for Power-System Planning
What is GridPath?
GridPath is a versatile grid-analytics platform developed by Blue Marble Analytics . The platform integrates several power-system planning approaches -- including production-cost, capacity-expansion, asset-valuation, and reliability modeling -- within the same software ecosystem. As multiple approaches are often used sequentially or iteratively in system planning, the seamless interface among them within the same modeling platform reduces the labor-intensive data-translation requirements and can speed up insight-generation in the planning process.
Traditional power-system models are often not designed to address the many new questions arising from the shift to low-carbon resources, storage deployment, widespread electric vehicle and building electrification, load participation in system operations, etc. This was the main motivation for GridPath's development. Transitioning to a low-carbon electricity system poses numerous new challenges to system planners and operators. Variable renewable energy technologies such as wind and solar introduce variability and uncertainty to system operations, requiring thoughtful integration through resource diversity and interconnection as well as the deployment of balancing technologies such as energy storage and demand response. Technology characteristics and costs as well as the policy landscape are also evolving rapidly. Improperly accounting for the uncertainty and risk can result in financial losses, jeopardize grid reliability, and create environmental damage. In that context, robust planning becomes increasingly important and advanced software tools specifically designed understand deeply-decarbonized grids can help to rapidly and continuously evaluate and plan the evolving electricity system.
Our goal is to create a transparent and user-friendly platform that facilitates quick model development and rapid adaptation. GridPath includes a user interface, database-building tools, an interactive results-visualization suite, and extensive validation & diagnostics as well testing suites.
Unlike other power system tools that can be cumbersome to adapt and extend, GridPath is built for today’s and tomorrow’s world: it has a highly flexible, modular architecture that facilitates its application to different systems and regions as well as the incorporation of emergent technologies and resources with non-standard characteristics (renewables, storage, demand response, hybrid resources, and so on). This makes the GridPath platform well-equipped to quickly and seamlessly add critical functionality around new technologies, policies, or practices, and tackle emergent questions about the pathways to and dynamics of deeply decarbonized electricity systems.
GridPath's modular architecture makes it possible to combine modules to create optimization problems with varying features and levels of complexity. Linear, mixed-integer, and non-linear formulations are possible depending on the selected modules.
GridPath has a highly flexible temporal and spatial span and resolution. Each generation, storage, and transmission asset in GridPath can be modeled with a user-specified level of detail. The decision for what to simplify and what requires a detailed treatment is left up to the user and can vary depending on the application of interest. GridPath’s flexibility and modularity facilitates its application to different systems and regions as well as to different planning questions.
GridPath can simulate the operations of the power system in detail, capturing the capabilities of and constraints on generation, storage, and transmission resources to understand grid integration and flexibility needs. In capacity-expansion mode, GridPath can also identify cost-effective deployment of conventional and renewable generation as well as storage, transmission, and demand response. In asset-valuation mode, GridPath can determine the market performance of an asset or a set of assets.
The platform can optionally capture the effects on operations and the optimal resource portfolio of forecast error, provision of ancillary grid services, interconnection, reliability requirements such as a planning reserve margin or local capacity requirements, and policies such as a renewables portfolio standard (RPS) or a carbon cap.
GridPath is under active development and we are continuously adding new functionality.
GridPath's codebase is open-source and available on GitHub. Documentation is available on Read the Docs.