Feasibility study of renewable energy systems for off-grid islands: A case study concerning Cuttyhunk Island

Marvin Alexander Gorgen, University of Rhode Island


Renewable energy can be a promising approach to respond to the energy consumption for remote areas and islands to account for price volatility of fuels, to hedge against supply insecurities, and to establish environmental responsibility. The technology has both, the power to create self-sufficiency in terms of electricity and the ability to be cost-effective and competitive. However, renewable energies are site specific. It is questionable if they are feasible in any environmental condition. Steps that have to be performed, consider different aspects of feasibility and potential of an area of interest. These elements are resource availability, technical practicability, economic reasonableness, and market conditions.^ The prime objective of this thesis is to assess the feasibility of the renewable energy transition for Cuttyhunk Island in Massachusetts, USA. Cuttyhunk is subject to the constraints of islands’ electricity supply and therefore a representative case study. Resource, technical, economic and market analyses have been performed to assess advantages and drawbacks of the site to illustrate conceivable implementation for different system setups. Based on sources open to public, information from local residents and information gathered during a field investigation, the feasibility as well as applicability of an integrated renewable energy system have been approved. It turned out that the energy transition is feasible and most cost-effective, when different mature technologies are combined with an appropriately sized storage and backup system.^

Subject Area

Environmental engineering|Energy

Recommended Citation

Marvin Alexander Gorgen, "Feasibility study of renewable energy systems for off-grid islands: A case study concerning Cuttyhunk Island" (2016). Dissertations and Master's Theses (Campus Access). Paper AAI10150136.