The electricity grid in the United States connects electricity suppliers to consumers and provides America with a reliable energy supply to power our modern society. The grid is extremely complex and is governed and affected by manifold factors and stakeholders. The US relies on reliable and reasonably priced electricity to function and it is imperative that the grid exists as an efficient and working system to maintain the health of the nation.
In recent years, the grid has seen a large influx of investments into using renewable resources for energy generation both at large and small scale. Single homeowners have begun investing directly in solar panels while maintaining their connection to the grid to eliminate the need for energy storage. The current method of charging consumers for their grid connection is broken and has the potential to lead to the destruction of the business model of the American utility.
For the final project in my Systems Analysis class at Olin College, I worked in a team of four to analyze the state of the problem and determine that the “utility death spiral” is a eal longterm concern. Furthermore, we presented potential solutions to mitigate the effect of smallscale distributed energy generation while maintaining the health of the grid.
For more information on this project, check out the written project report.