Paper/Poster/Presentation Title

Methodological Lessons for Participatory Modeling

Presenter/Author Information

Andrew FordFollow
Andrew Ford, WSUFollow

Keywords

Participatory Modeling, Storage, CO2 Emissions, Short Term dynamics within a long term model

Start Date

25-6-2018 3:00 PM

End Date

25-6-2018 3:20 PM

Abstract

This paper describes the modeling process in a simulation study of compressed air energy storage for the large power system in Ontario, Canada. The study is fully documented in a White Paper from NRStor Inc, the storage developer.

This paper focuses on the participatory modeling process. It began with discussions within the NRStor team, followed by meetings with power systems managers and staff. The participating stakeholders grew in number, eventually represented generating companies, the system operator, regulators, energy ministry staff and advocates for utility customers and for the environment. Most of the stakeholders were accustomed to computer modeling, as the agencies used dozens of highly detailed models. But the stakeholders were not accustomed to the system dynamics approach to tie the pieces of system together, nor were they accustomed to the participatory discussions which were encouraged by speed and clarity in the modeling.

The methods to achieve speed and clarity will be illustrated at the conference with live demonstrations. The key to speed was the use of separate, but interconnected models for short-term operations along side the model of long-term trends. The key to clarity was an interface designed for (1) clear graphical displays of results in formats familiar to stakeholders and (2) convenient input controls and navigation to allow instant responses to participants suggestions.

The stakeholders had many suggestions to expand and improve the model. The improvements were quickly implemented, and new meetings followed shortly thereafter. New simulations would trigger more discussions and more requests for further improvements, with stakeholders particularly interested in adding CO2 emissions to the model. The modeling process led to increased understanding for both groups: the development team gained a better understanding of the power system, and the agency participants gained new understanding of the value of compressed air energy storage and the best strategy to sustain Ontario’s success in limiting CO2 emissions.

Stream and Session

Stream C, Session 5

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Jun 25th, 3:00 PM Jun 25th, 3:20 PM

Methodological Lessons for Participatory Modeling

This paper describes the modeling process in a simulation study of compressed air energy storage for the large power system in Ontario, Canada. The study is fully documented in a White Paper from NRStor Inc, the storage developer.

This paper focuses on the participatory modeling process. It began with discussions within the NRStor team, followed by meetings with power systems managers and staff. The participating stakeholders grew in number, eventually represented generating companies, the system operator, regulators, energy ministry staff and advocates for utility customers and for the environment. Most of the stakeholders were accustomed to computer modeling, as the agencies used dozens of highly detailed models. But the stakeholders were not accustomed to the system dynamics approach to tie the pieces of system together, nor were they accustomed to the participatory discussions which were encouraged by speed and clarity in the modeling.

The methods to achieve speed and clarity will be illustrated at the conference with live demonstrations. The key to speed was the use of separate, but interconnected models for short-term operations along side the model of long-term trends. The key to clarity was an interface designed for (1) clear graphical displays of results in formats familiar to stakeholders and (2) convenient input controls and navigation to allow instant responses to participants suggestions.

The stakeholders had many suggestions to expand and improve the model. The improvements were quickly implemented, and new meetings followed shortly thereafter. New simulations would trigger more discussions and more requests for further improvements, with stakeholders particularly interested in adding CO2 emissions to the model. The modeling process led to increased understanding for both groups: the development team gained a better understanding of the power system, and the agency participants gained new understanding of the value of compressed air energy storage and the best strategy to sustain Ontario’s success in limiting CO2 emissions.