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Hydrogen Station Location Planning via Geodesign in Connecticut: Comparing Optimization Models and Structured Stakeholder Collaboration


Geodesign is a participatory planning approach in which stakeholders use geographic information systems to develop and vet alternative design scenarios in a collaborative and iterative process. This study is based on a 2019 geodesign workshop in which 17 participants from industry, government, university, and non-profit sectors worked together to design an initial network of hydrogen refueling stations in the Hartford, Connecticut, metropolitan area. The workshop involved identifying relevant location factors, rapid prototyping of station network designs, and developing consensus on a final design. The geodesign platform, which was designed specifically for facility location problems, enables breakout groups to add or delete stations with a simple point-and-click operation, view and overlay different map layers, compute performance metrics, and compare their designs to those of other groups. By using these sources of information and their own expert local knowledge, participants recommended six locations for hydrogen refueling stations over two distinct phases of station installation. We quantitatively and qualitatively compared workshop recommendations to solutions of three optimal station location models that have been used to recommend station locations, which minimize travel times from stations to population and traffic or maximize trips that can be refueled on origin–destination routes. In a post-workshop survey, participants rated the workshop highly for facilitating mutual understanding and information sharing among stakeholders. To our knowledge, this workshop represents the first application of geodesign for hydrogen refueling station infrastructure planning.

Funding source: This research was funded by the National Science Foundation, grant number 1660514.
Related subjects: Applications & Pathways
Countries: United States

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