This work aims to illustrate a sustainable socio-techno-economic microgrid (SSTEM) design framework based on locally accessible energy resources such as solar, wind, hydro, etc. for remote/rural electrification purposes in the context of developing and least developing nations. The proposed SSTEM framework consists of separate three subdesign levels integrated as one all-inclusive design process. The outlined framework can incorporate several combinations of the available energy resources in the vicinity such as hydrokinetic system (HKS), photovoltaic (PV), small wind turbine (SWT), etc. as primary energy sources with pump hydro system (PHS) and battery as energy storage and diesel generator as a backup for designing the community microgrid. Many combinations of primary generating sources and storage systems are utilized in this study to determine the suitable alternative. A preliminary socio-techno-economic evaluation of different microgrid elements (energy technologies and storage systems) will be introduced in this first stage of the proposed design process using decision analysis tools based on a set of performance indicators. The best alternatives from each of the elements, i.e., renewable energy technologies (RETs) and energy storage systems (ESS) assessed on the anticipated performance indicators, will be obtained to be used for the next-level design process. In the subsequent design stage, the detailed feasibility (techno-economic) analysis of the solutions by combining different elements (RETs and ESS), which are obtained after the first stage with diesel generator (DG) in different microgrid architectures will be performed with multi-objective optimization tool. Different sizes and costing of various microgrid elements in varying suitable architectures will be obtained after this stage. In the final stage multi-criteria decision making (MCDM) models will be utilized to determine the best possible microgrid based on suitably defined criteria for electrifying the remote villages/communities.
Keywords Renewable energy, community microgrids, rural electrification, sustainable development, multi-criteria decision making, socio-techno analysis