EFRI-RESIN: The Interface of Infrastructures, Markets, and Natural Cycles - Innovative Modeling and Control Mechanisms for Managing Electricity, Water and Air Quality in Texas

  • Allen, David T. (PI)
  • Prinn, R. G. (CoPI)
  • Webber, Michael E. (CoPI)
  • Williams, Roberton R.C. (CoPI)
  • Ellerman, A. Denny (CoPI)
  • Webster, Mort D. (CoPI)

Project: Research project

Project Details


PI name: David Allen

Institution: University of Texas at Austin

Proposal Number: 0835414

This award is an outcome of the competition as part of the Emerging Frontiers in Research and Innovation (NSF 07-579) solicitation under the subtopic Resilient and Sustainable Infrastructures (RESIN). The goal of this project is to demonstrate that the operation of electricity generation and water supply infrastructures can be made more resilient and sustainable by integrating assessments of air quality and water availability into electricity generation dispatching decisions.

The project proposes to:

1) Create integrated infrastructure/markets/natural cycles models using the state of Texas as a source of data and as a geographic and temporal test-bed.

2) Evaluate the resiliency of the integrated system to a series of challenges or 'shocks' to test resiliency and sustainability

3) Assess alternative technical, economic and institutional mechanisms for incorporating assessments of air quality and water availability into the operation of electricity generating systems; these alterations will include changes to existing wholesale power markets, air quality regulation, and emissions markets, as well as potential developments in water markets.

The results of this research would provide new methods for improving the resilience of electrical and water infrastructures. A major outcome of the work will be the proof of principle for a next-generation framework for managing the impact on emissions and water use of electricity generation by integrating advanced meteorological information with existing and potential market developments in electricity generation, air quality management, and water availability. This framework will also help in understanding a broader set of impacts from perturbations in the integrated system.

By demonstrating a next-generation framework for the integrated management of air quality, water use, and electricity generation, the project will provide alternatives for policy-makers in the case study region. In addition, the information generated by this project will be used to develop educational modules that will be used in classes in energy systems, air pollution control and environmental regulation and policy at both UT and MIT. Further, project personnel will participate in scientific and policy meetings/workshops at which project results will be presented, including forums such as MIT's 'Knight Science Journalism Fellows', in which journalists spend a year at MIT. Finally, the project will be used to continue the University of Texas' outreach to female students, specifically by engaging participants in UT's Women in Engineering Program (WEP) as project interns.

Effective start/end date9/15/088/31/14


  • National Science Foundation: $2,068,000.00


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