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This content will become publicly available on January 28, 2019

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

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.
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  1. National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)
Publication Date:
Report Number(s):
Journal ID: ISSN 0301-4215
Grant/Contract Number:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Energy Policy
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 115; Journal Issue: C; Journal ID: ISSN 0301-4215
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)
Country of Publication:
United States
17 WIND ENERGY; 24 POWER TRANSMISSION AND DISTRIBUTION; renewable integration; electricity planning; grid modeling; grid flexibility
OSTI Identifier: