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Location Optimization of a Coal Power Plant to Balance Costs against Plant’s Emission Exposure

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Document pages: 28 pages

Abstract: The goal of the research is to develop a methodology to minimize the public’sexposure to harmful emissions from coal power plants while maintaining minimaloperational costs related to electric distribution losses and coal logistics.The objective is achieved by combining EPA Screen3, ISC3 and JapaneseMETI-LIS model equations with minimum spanning tree (MST) algorithm.Prim’s MST algorithm is used to simulate an electric distribution system andcoal transportation pathways. The model can detect emission interaction withanother source and estimate the ground level concentrations of emissions upto distances of 25 kilometers. During a grid search, the algorithm helps determinea candidate location, for a new coal power plant, that would minimizethe operational cost while ensuring emission exposure is below theEPA NIOSH thresholds. The proposed methodology has been coded in formof a location analysis simulation. An exhaustive search strategy delivers a finalcandidate location for a new coal power plant to ensure minimum operationalcosts as compared to the random or greedy search strategy. The simulationprovides a tool to industrial zone planners, environmental engineers, andstakeholders in coal-based power generation. Using operational and emissionsperspectives, the tool helps ascertain a list of compromise locations for anew coal power plant facility.

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