Mary Hill and her team are exploring the economic viability of using renewable energy to: (1) increase usable water resources by treating degraded and unused water supplies, and (2) produce ammonia that can both store energy and be used as fertilizer. They are studying the potential of these innovations to create a multifaceted economic system able to sustain small town and rural (STAR) communities, and maintain needed agricultural production.
We are producing decision support software that enables agricultural producers to explore new opportunities available through local renewable energy sources like wind and solar.
Focusing on loads that serve agricultural interests, such as water treatment and small-scale ammonia production, means farm incomes can benefit, even in areas with modest renewable energy resources.
Wind and solar energy generation depends on circumstances that are not readily controlled or anticipated. Our proposed electricity uses are chosen and designed to be tolerant of intermittent energy supplies. Locating them near energy production facilities reduces transmission costs.