As demand for electricity in the United States continues to increase, it is necessary to explore the means through which the modern power supply system can accommodate both increasing affluence (which is accompanied by increased per-capita consumption) and the continually growing global population. Though there has been a great deal of research into the theoretical optimization of large-scale power systems, research into the use of an existing power system as a foundation for this growth has yet to be fully explored. Current successful and robust power generation systems that have significant renewable energy penetration — despite not having been optimized a priori — can be used to inform the advancement of modern power systems to accommodate the increasing demand for electricity. Leveraging ongoing research projects at Oregon State University and the National Energy Technology Laboratory, this work explores how an accurate and state-of-the-art computational model of the Oregon/Washington (OR/WA) energy system can be employed as part of an overarching power systems optimization scheme that looks to inform the decision making process for next generation power supply systems. Research scenarios that explore an introductory multi-objective power flow analysis for the OR/WA grid will be shown, along with a discussion of future research directions.

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