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Title: How low can you go? The importance of quantifying minimum generation levels for renewable integration

Abstract

One of the significant limitations of solar and wind deployment is declining value caused by the limited correlation of renewable energy supply and electricity demand as well as limited flexibility of the power system. Limited flexibility can result from thermal and hydro plants that cannot turn off or reduce output due to technical or economic limits. These limits include the operating range of conventional thermal power plants, the need for process heat from combined heat and power plants, and restrictions on hydro unit operation. To appropriately analyze regional and national energy policies related to renewable deployment, these limits must be accurately captured in grid planning models. In this work, we summarize data sources and methods for U.S. power plants that can be used to capture minimum generation levels in grid planning tools, such as production cost models. We also provide case studies for two locations in the U.S. (California and Texas) that demonstrate the sensitivity of variable generation (VG) curtailment to grid flexibility assumptions which shows the importance of analyzing (and documenting) minimum generation levels in studies of increased VG penetration.

Authors:
 [1];  [1];  [1]
  1. National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Wind and Water Technologies Office (EE-4W)
OSTI Identifier:
1456870
Report Number(s):
NREL/JA-6A20-68961
Journal ID: ISSN 0301-4215
Grant/Contract Number:  
AC36-08GO28308
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Energy Policy
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 115; Journal Issue: C; Journal ID: ISSN 0301-4215
Publisher:
Elsevier
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
17 WIND ENERGY; 24 POWER TRANSMISSION AND DISTRIBUTION; renewable integration; electricity planning; grid modeling; grid flexibility

Citation Formats

Denholm, Paul, Brinkman, Greg, and Mai, Trieu. How low can you go? The importance of quantifying minimum generation levels for renewable integration. United States: N. p., 2018. Web. doi:10.1016/j.enpol.2018.01.023.
Denholm, Paul, Brinkman, Greg, & Mai, Trieu. How low can you go? The importance of quantifying minimum generation levels for renewable integration. United States. doi:10.1016/j.enpol.2018.01.023.
Denholm, Paul, Brinkman, Greg, and Mai, Trieu. Sun . "How low can you go? The importance of quantifying minimum generation levels for renewable integration". United States. doi:10.1016/j.enpol.2018.01.023. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1456870.
@article{osti_1456870,
title = {How low can you go? The importance of quantifying minimum generation levels for renewable integration},
author = {Denholm, Paul and Brinkman, Greg and Mai, Trieu},
abstractNote = {One of the significant limitations of solar and wind deployment is declining value caused by the limited correlation of renewable energy supply and electricity demand as well as limited flexibility of the power system. Limited flexibility can result from thermal and hydro plants that cannot turn off or reduce output due to technical or economic limits. These limits include the operating range of conventional thermal power plants, the need for process heat from combined heat and power plants, and restrictions on hydro unit operation. To appropriately analyze regional and national energy policies related to renewable deployment, these limits must be accurately captured in grid planning models. In this work, we summarize data sources and methods for U.S. power plants that can be used to capture minimum generation levels in grid planning tools, such as production cost models. We also provide case studies for two locations in the U.S. (California and Texas) that demonstrate the sensitivity of variable generation (VG) curtailment to grid flexibility assumptions which shows the importance of analyzing (and documenting) minimum generation levels in studies of increased VG penetration.},
doi = {10.1016/j.enpol.2018.01.023},
journal = {Energy Policy},
number = C,
volume = 115,
place = {United States},
year = {2018},
month = {1}
}

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Cited by: 8 works
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Figures / Tables:

Figure 1 Figure 1: Minimum generation levels resulting in renewable curtailment (Lew et al. 2013)

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