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The Renewable Energy Potential (reV) Model

Authors: Nick Grue*, National Renewable Energy Lab
Topics: Energy, Economic Geography, Temporal GIS
Keywords: renewable energy, spatiotemporal, analysis
Session Type: Paper
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


The Renewable Energy Potential (reV) model is a platform for the detailed assessment of renewable energy resources and their geospatial intersection with grid infrastructure and land use characteristics. The reV model currently supports photovoltaic (PV), concentrating solar power (CSP), and wind turbine technologies.The platform runs on the National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s (NREL’s) high-performance computing system, providing scalable and efficient performance from a single location up to a continent, for a single year or decades of time-series resource data. Coupled with NREL’s System Advisor Model (SAM), reV supports resource assessments from 5-minute to hourly temporal resolutions and supports the analysis of long-term (i.e., year-on-year) variability of renewable generation.

Specific configurations of each technology (CSP, PV, or wind) can be varied across the analysis—e.g., a different wind turbine can be modeled at each location. The estimated generation and limitations put on developable land area—defined by the user—are used to calculate the technology-specific technical potential. For example, the user can limit the development by land ownership, terrain, land use/cover, urban areas, and custom inputs. Capital expenditures and operation-and-maintenance costs can also be specified by the user to represent current technologies or future cost scenarios for emerging technologies. The supply curve module is a spatial sorting algorithm based on plant siting, transmission cost, and regional competition, and it provides a geographically discrete estimate of the levelized cost of energy and supply (i.e., available resource capacity) for the renewable technologies modeled.

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