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Senior Project - STARRSS


A Comprehensive Environmental Model for the Utility Industry

Senior Project: 1994-1995
Bhavna Chhabra, Brian Daugherty, Gavin Gartner and James Herrington
Boulder, CO

One aspect of the RCG/Hagler, Bailly mission is to help electric and gas utilities, governmental agencies, regulators, and foreign governments in making sound decisions concerning issues such as energy efficiency, conservation, conventional and renewable resources, and environmental preservation. RCG/Hagler, Bailly recently designed, developed, and distributed a DOS PC-based modeling system to assist state regulators and utilities in complying with the 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments (CAAA). The CAAA mandated that utilities must substantially reduce their sulfur dioxide (SO2) emissions. The CAAA did not dictate specific technological or procedural solutions. Rather, the CAAA have given each polluting utility a great deal of flexibility in meeting its emissions reduction requirements. Increased flexibility, however, translates into increasingly complicated decision making.

The complexity of this problem led to the development of STARRSS Version 1 (the State Acid Rain Research and Screening System). STARRSS Version 1 has been delivered to over 50 utilities and state regulatory commissions around the country. STARRSS is a full screen, menu-driven, PC-based program (written in C) that allows commissions and utilities to evaluate different strategies for cleaning up the environment. From the start of the project, several valuable enhancements were envisioned that were outside of EPA's acid rain-related work scope. It was decided to develop an initial version and defer these enhancements to a second version.

The project provides three major enhancements. The first enhancement is broadening the environmental scope of the model to allow utilities to model other pollutants, allowing the user to examine dozens of different technological and operation options to mitigate any or all of these pollutants. Another enhancement entailed a more refined modeling of utility energy conservation efforts. A third major enhancement was an extension of the current average-year modeling convention used in Version 1 to a multi-year system that would allow a user to see how operations and emissions may change over time. The project was implemented in C++ in a Microsoft Windows environment.

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Department of Computer Science
College of Engineering and Applied Science
University of Colorado Boulder
Boulder, CO 80309-0430 USA
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