Electrical Considerations for Siting of a Small Modular Reactor: A Case Study of Saskatchewan, Canada
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Distributed generation resources (DGs) can help to mitigate the growth in electricity demand and the large burden on the central grid by reducing transmission and distribution power losses. DGs are typically small-scale power sources that can produce electricity close to the distribution network. Choosing a suitable site for a new DG is a critical step in DG planning for long-term e cient power generation. Locating optimal sites for DGs involves consideration of many factors (e.g., such as economic, social, environment, geographic, availability of electrical infrastructure, etc.). Solar panels, micro wind turbines, small hydropower units, fuel cells and Small Modular Reactors (SMRs) are some examples of DGs used in power systems. SMRs are a unique alternative to traditional small fossil fuel power plants. Saskatchewan (SK), Canada has been selected as a case study for the selection of the location of SMRs in this thesis. SK can bene t from SMR power generation because its remote northern communities can be best served by small distributed resources such as SMRs. In addition, based on the load centres and existing power grid infrastructure, SMRs could be more suitable when compared to large power plants for SK. In this thesis, an Analytical Hierarchy Process (AHP) and Fuzzy AHP (FAHP) algorithm are implemented to develop a ranking system to choose proper sites for SMR power generation units in SK. Electrical and non-electrical loads, existing and retiring generation, transmission lines, and switching stations in location-dependent scenarios are considered to determine preferable sites. An improved result is obtained by implementing a fuzzy logic-based AHP algorithm that deals with the linguistic vagueness and uncertainty for siting of SMRs in SK. Renewable energy sources such as wind and solar require increased load-following capabilities with respect to the remaining conventional generation. In this thesis, the top two locations from the results of AHP and FAHP are validated for SMR siting using PowerWorld Simulator (PWS) to show the support of intermittent generation and non-electrical applications. The existing power system network of the Provincial Electrical Utility (PEU), SaskPower is modelled with the integration of an SMR in these two areas to analyze the system behavior of an SMR. The growing integration of intermittent renewable energies is a motivating factor to consider SMRs, which are demand-following in nature; any excess power can also be utilized for co-generation purposes. In this thesis, an assumption that the surplus power from SMRs is utilized for industrial applications in the selected high ranked locations is made. Additionally, the quality of support for non-electrical applications with the integration of SMR to both wind and solar energy is compared.