Microgrid Load and LCOE Modelling Results

These tools are designed to inform high level thinking around micro-grid load and tariff considerations in sub-Saharan Africa. There are two related tools in this dataset:

1. Microgrid REopt LCOE Results Explorer. The purpose of this tool is to display levelized cost of electricity (LCOE) modeling results for representative micro-grid systems serving a rural village with 100 micro-grid connected homes, two shops, and one school. Cost-based modeling of these systems was done using NREL's REopt tool. REopt is a techno-economic decision support model used to determine the optimal selection, sizing, and dispatch strategy of candidate technologies such that site energy requirements are met at the minimum life-cycle cost.

This tool allows the user to see how the optimized LCOE for different micro-grid configurations change as a wide range of input parameters vary. Available toggles include geographical location, fuel prices, discount rates, level of planned reliability, load profile, technology costs, distribution system costs, and other soft costs. Furthermore, a breakdown of the LCOE is provided showing how different cost components contribute to the final LCOE. This tool can be used to obtain a better understanding of what cost-reflective tariffs in sub-Saharan micro-grid systems must be for different combinations of technical and economic project assumptions in order for developers to recover costs and attract investment. The modeled LCOE can also be compared to existing tariff structures and provide insight into the scale of subsidies and grants necessary to make micro-grid projects economically viable under current regulatory structures.

2. Microgrid Load Profile Explorer. The purpose of this tool is to provide hourly electrical load profiles for various household types (i.e., high income, medium income, and low income households) and for various commercial entities (i.e., water pumping for irrigation, grain milling, small shops, schools, clinics, and street lighting) that are commonly found in rural Sub-Saharan Africa. This tool allows the user to input the number of households, types of households, and number of commercial entities in order to see how the hourly electrical load profile changes and to see how the maximum and minimum electrical load changes.
2 Data Resources
Name Size Type Resource Description History
1 - Microgrid_ReOpt_LCOE_Results_Explorer.xlsm 2.62 MB Document Micro-grid Tariff Assessment Tool
2 - Microgrid_Load_Profile_Explorer.xlsx 565.88 KB Data Rural African Load Profile Tool
Author Information
Xiangkun Li, National Renewable Energy Laboratory
James Salasovich, National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Tim Reber, National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Cite This Dataset
Li, Xiangkun, James Salasovich, and Tim Reber. 2018. "Microgrid Load and LCOE Modelling Results." NREL Data Catalog. Golden, CO: National Renewable Energy Laboratory. Last updated: September 16, 2022.
About This Dataset
Funding Organization
Work for Others (SPP, WFO)
Research Areas
Energy Analysis
Grid Modernization
Solar Power
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