Based on a real-world scenario in Central America, this work is to plan and design a solar-powered microgrid for the rural communities who have had no access to electric power due to their distance from the grid as well as the mountainous terrain. The minimum spanning tree method is used to generate the initial grid topology and the difference between the results with and without the consideration of actual terrain effects is shown. The design of solar generation and energy storage has 3 options: a centralized solar park powering all communities, each community with a solar plant, and distributed generation at household level. Using dc power flow, we develop optimization algorithm to improve the solutions and compare the designs in terms of feasibility and resilience (against power congestion) or robustness (against structural damage). Through this case, it is demonstrated that our methodology can inform and assist the planning of solar-powered microgrids for remote communities.

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