The North American power grid is a highly heterogeneous and dispersed complex system that has been constructed ad-hoc over the past century. Large-scale propagating system failures remain constant over the past 30 years as the rising population and affiliated energy centric culture continues to drive increases in energy demand. In addition, there are continued negative effects from various types of energy generation strategies, including renewables, on the environment. This paper presents a methodology for a high-level system optimization of a power grid capturing annual cost, energy use, and environmental impact for use during the early design trade studies. A model has been created to explore the system state of a power grid based on various types of energy generation, including both fossil fuel and renewable strategies. In addition, energy conservation practices for commercial and residential applications are explored as an alternative solution to meet predicted demand. A component for incorporating design trades within the model has been developed to analyze the feasibility of trading surplus energy between interconnections as a means to address issues with excess generation and mitigate the need for additional generation. The result is a set of Pareto Optimal solutions considering both cost and environmental impact that meet predicted energy demand constraints.

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