Liqian poses with Tabitha Boatwright in front of the Palo Alto City Hall. (Photo credit: Liqian Zhang)
Why did you want to do this internship?
Being an environmental engineering student, I hope to be an environmental consultant in the future. While environmental projects are always highly related to government, this internship is a great opportunity for me to know how the government makes efforts to mitigate climate change and help me to find my position in my future career.
How does your role support the host organization’s mission?
My work was to analyze how we can save energy by shifting loads to low-utilized hours with hourly load data and pricing data. This high-level analysis will help the utility to decide whether we want to further develop this load- shifting project and see if there is a possibility that we can reduce the carbon-based energy.
Describe one project you will be working on this summer.
The project I'm working on is to perform the benefit/cost of a load-shifting program on the utility perspective. As the Palo Alto electricity was charged by the volume and peak, we can reduce the electricity cost by shifting some of the load at peak hours to other hours while maintain the total electricity usage. However, in fact we cannot shift too much load in an hour or shift our loads every day, so in this program, I'll optimize different load-shifting scenarios and analyze the impact on commercial customers.
How does this project relate to your studies and/or career goals?
This project helps me a lot in understanding the grid system in Palo Alto and California. As the energy industry is highly influenced by the government's policy, this internship provides me a great opportunity to understand the policy trends and many insights into the energy industry.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
During my spare time, I spend some time learning grid and economics systems in order to help my work. Besides that, I also like to spend time cooking, chatting with my friends online, and exercising.
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