Arizona’s Solar Market Analysis and Research Tool (AzSMART) is a breakthrough decision environment that enables stakeholders to examine the complex interaction of policy, economic, energy security, environmental, and technical issues that impact Arizona’s ability to become an international leader in solar power innovation and development.
The ultimate goal of the project is to develop a comprehensive utility- and distributed-scale analysis tool, tailored to the examination of a successful roll-out of large-scale solar energy infrastructure in Arizona, and to develop the required electric grid technologies to enable that infrastructure. Multi-disciplinary research efforts and capabilities at Arizona State University and the University of Arizona are being harnessed in close collaboration with partners from industry, government and Science Foundation Arizona in the creation and use of AzSMART.
Launched this month, the latest version of AzSMART is a utility-scale oriented, incarnation of the tool, presented in an immersive seven-screen visualization environment at The Decision Theater at ASU.
Utilizing scenarios which focus upon solar deployment at various sites within Arizona, the tool:
- Highlights through GIS mapping how to identify solar-feasible areas and how a relaxation of some GIS filters causes a significant amount of additional solar-feasible areas to emerge. Reference is also made to descriptors of the identified land areas and potential constraints to their development.
- Uses an integrated version of PowerWorld (mapping the entire western region transmission system) to analyze the technical feasibility of including identified land areas within the current transmission system and proposed changes to it.
- Estimates various financial, economic and environmental consequences related to increased solar generation deployment.
- Identifies trade-offs and offers public policy options that impact upon the financial, economic and environmental outcomes.
AzSMART is already interactive, live and integrated but is currently utility-scaled to allow for the testing of the integration of its elements. It will ultimately develop into an all-encompassing utility- and distributed-scale tool, tailored to the decision environments of the different stakeholder groups (from householders to the Governor) and will be available online desktop formats.
To learn more about Az SMART, please visit azsmart.org
Energy Sector Technology (August 2011)
Market-Based Incentives (November 2010)