An expressway microgrid can make full use of renewable resources near the road area and enable joint carbon reduction in both transportation and energy sectors. It is important to research the optimal construction mode and capacity configuration method of expressway microgrid considering the carbon trading and carbon offset mechanism. This paper establishes a design model for an expressway microgrid considering the operating features of each component in the microgrid under two patterns of grid-connected/islanded and two types of AC/DC. The goal of the proposed model is to minimize the annualized comprehensive cost, which includes the annualized investment cost, operational cost, and carbon trading cost. The model designates the optimal construction mode of an expressway microgrid, i.e., grid-connected or islanded, AC or DC. As a mixed integer nonlinear programming (MINLP) problem, the proposed model can be solved in a commercial solver conveniently, such as GUROBI and CPLEX. The validity and practicality of the proposed model have been demonstrated through case studies in several different application scenarios, which also demonstrate the necessity of considering carbon trading mechanisms in the design model.

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