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SmartGrid Seminar: Jesse Jenkins, Understanding the Value of Distributed Energy Resources: New Methods and Insights for Electricity Economics, Planning, and Operations.
Distributed energy resources (DERs), including distributed generation, storage, and demand response, create new options for the provision of electricity services. As detailed in the recently released MIT Utility of the Future study, these distributed resources compete with and complement one another as well as conventional generation resources and network assets. In addition, many DERs exhibit tradeoffs between “locational value" (deriving from loss mitigation, network capacity deferral, constraint mitigation, etc.) and economies of unit scale. New electricity system modeling tools are needed to evaluate the value of DERs and provide insights into how, where, and why DERs can be economically attractive contributors to an affordable and reliable electricity system. This seminar will describe a new electricity resource capacity planning tool, "GenX," suitable for analyzing the role and value of DERs in power systems and present insights from initial case studies.
Jesse Jenkins is a PhD candidate in Engineering Systems at MIT's Institute for Data Systems and Society and a researcher with the MIT Energy Initiative. Jesse studies electric power sector economics, operations, regulation, and policy with a focus on two overarching trends transforming the electricity sector: the transition to zero-carbon power systems and the proliferation of distributed energy resources. Jesse earned a S.M. in Technology & Policy at MIT in 2014 and previously directed the Energy and Climate Program at the Breakthrough Institute, a public policy think tank. He has published peer-reviewed papers in The Energy Journal, Economics of Energy and Environmental Policy, Applied Energy, Energy Policy, and WIREs: Climate Change. His research and writing has been featured in invited testimony before the United States Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources and in major media outlets including NPR, the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post and Time Magazine. Jesse has received fellowships from the National Science Foundation, MIT Energy Initiative, and Martin Family Society of Fellows for Sustainability and serves as co-president of MIT’s Electricity Students Research Group.