Unit 2: Energize NB!
In this unit, you will design an electric grid to meet the electricity needs of New Brunswick. The ‘grid’ is the common term for the infrastructure used to get electricity where we need it.
Starting off with some research about what exactly the electric grid is and some of its common features will be a good place to start. You can explore the different types of electricity generation technologies and compare their costs, fuel types, capabilities to generate electricity, and environmental impacts with resource maps provided here. These maps will show the availability of natural resources like wind, solar, shale gas/oil, and rivers in New Brunswick. This research will lead you to proposing a set of electricity generation technologies to meet the needs of New Brunswick. The six main elements that you need to pay attention to in designing your energy mix are:
- Can your energy mix effectively meet the electricity needs of people living in New Brunswick?
- Have you considered base load as well as peak consumption?
- Have daily and seasonal variations in electricity needs been considered?
- Is your proposed grid resistant to disruption?
- Have you considered possible rapid fluctuations in fuel prices?
- Would there be black outs or brown outs if any single generating station failed?
- Is your proposed mix realistic in terms of cost?
- Are the fuels that your plants require high in cost?
- How have you balanced upfront costs and costs of ongoing operation?
- Does your portfolio of generating technologies impact the environment in negative ways? Has thought been given to minimizing environmental impacts?
- What is the carbon footprint of the average unit of electricity generated with your energy mix?
- Does it work towards meeting NB’s Energy Blueprint’s goal of 40% renewable by 2020?
- Is it realistic? (You can’t build hydro dams where there is no water)
- Does it engage customers?
- Is there a consideration for different economics classes? Are there social programs that could help boost the effectiveness of the system?
Innovation & Forward Thinking
- In meeting the above four criteria, have you been creative in your approach or solution? Is it innovative and realistic?
- Have you considered how your grid will adapt into the future?
These categories and considerations will be used to assess your proposed grid.