This project aimed to strengthen connections between the Earth science community and electric utility data end users, as well as build capacity for domestic electric utility stakeholders to access and apply Earth observation (EO) information in resilience and renewable energy program planning.  Over the course of the project, the Battelle Team has engaged the Earth science community, electric utility end users, and other government or research stakeholders in strengthening the ability of electric utility end users to access and use EO data. Importantly, the project began with the understanding that current NASA EOs may not meet decision-making needs of this community. The approach utilized a capacity building framework to conduct a thorough needs assessment, including secondary literature searches, as well as discussions with utility end users directly to gain key insight into decision-making, management, and other operation needs. The team leveraged the DOE Partnership for Energy Sector Climate Resilience and the Edison Electric Institute (EEI) as key entry points to engaging with the end user community. The needs assessment set a foundation of understanding regarding technical capacity and gaps, current EO data usage, and aspirational goals on possible near-term application areas for EO uptake. An Advisory Group (AG) of technical experts and federal agency representatives was actively engaged to maximize stakeholder engagement in providing strategic guidance and direction from a policy and research perspective.

Based on the needs assessment findings, the team implemented a series of technical assistance and capacity building activities.

Key Results Include:

  • A methodological literature review on utility priorities, challenges, and needs in developing economies was submitted and accepted by Frontiers special research issue: Operational Earth Observation for Sustainable Development and Risk Reduction in the Developing World.
  • The team developed an ESRI StoryMap that presents a curated list of NASA datasets and products, case studies, real world examples of EO use for utility applications, and resource tutorials. The StoryMap includes videos, images, demos, at-a-glance tables, and other multimedia to acquaint users with the datasets presented. The StoryMap is free and open to the public.
  • Developed a four-part energy management training series, with NASA ARSET.  The on-demand recordings of the trainings are available to the public.  The series covers the following: Part 1: Introduction to Earth Observations (EOs) for Energy Management; Part 2: Using NASA Products for a More Climate Resilient Energy Sector; Part 3: NASA Resources for Renewable Energy and Building Energy Efficiency Applications and Part 4: Data Access: Utilizing the NASA POWER Web Services for Energy Related Applications

Peer-Reviewed Publication

  • The peer-reviewed manuscript developed through the project was accepted into an e-book: Leibrand, A., Sadoff, N., Maslak, T., and Thomas, A. (2021) “Using Earth Observations to Help Developing Countries Improve Access to Reliable, Sustainable, and Modern Energy.” In Hanan, N. P., Limaye, A. S., Irwin, D. E. (Eds.), Use of Earth Observations for Actionable Decision Making in the Developing World (pp. 8-21). Lausanne: Frontiers Media SA. doi: 10.3389/978-2-88966-382-8.