January 19, 2018

Transportation Planning to Accommodate Needs of Wind Energy Projects -- Winner of the 2017 TRB Ryuichi Kitamura Best Paper Award

Time

1:40pm - 3:00pm

Location

1605 Tilia, Room 1103, West Village

Speaker(s)

Sebastian Astroza, PhD candidate in Civil Engineering (Transportation Engineering), University of Texas at Austin

Abstract

Given the upward trend in wind energy production in Texas, we propose a methodology and an associated operational planning tool that can be used to develop optimal route plans for the transportation of wind turbine components on Texas roadways. In addition, we provide recommendations for transportation infrastructure maintenance and upgrade strategies, as well as for more general multi-sector infrastructure improvements needed, in response to the predicted growth of wind energy over time. Specifically, as part of this research, we predict the amount of energy that will be installed in Texas from 2015 to 2025 and we use our tool, along with detailed knowledge of the wind energy production industry and the related supply chain, to find the optimal routes for the wind turbine components (minimizing both potential for road damage and driver delay). We also propose a methodology to use our tool for the analysis of several “what-if?” scenarios. The tool and the associated methodology, while developed for Texas, can be generalized to any other state, after updating the underlying databases.

Biographical Sketch

Sebastian Astroza is currently a PhD candidate in Civil Engineering (Transportation Engineering) at The University of Texas at Austin. His primary research interests include discrete choice models and travel behavior, spatial econometrics, and discrete-continuous econometric systems. He received his MS degree in Transportation Engineering and his BS degree in Civil Engineering from Universidad de Chile in Santiago, Chile.