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Title: Sunny with a Chance of Curtailment: Operating the US Grid with Very High Levels of Solar Photovoltaics

Abstract

With rapid declines in solar photovoltaic (PV) and energy storage costs, futures with PV penetrations approaching or exceeding 50% of total annual U.S. generation are becoming conceivable. The operational merits of such a national-scale system have not been evaluated sufficiently. Here, we analyze in detail the operational impacts of a future U.S. power system with very high annual levels of PV (>50%) with storage. We show that load and operating reserve requirements can be met for all hours while considering key generator operational constraints. Storage plays an active role in maintaining the balance of supply and demand during sunset hours. Under the highest PV penetration scenario, hours with >90% PV penetration are relatively common, which require rapid transitions between predominately conventional synchronous generation and mostly inverter-based generation. We observe hours with almost 400 GW (over 40%) of economic curtailment and frequent (up to 36%) hours with very low energy prices. (>50%) with storage. We show that load and operating reserve requirements can be met for all hours while considering key generator operational constraints. Storage plays an active role in maintaining the balance of supply and demand during sunset hours. Under the highest PV penetration scenario, hours with >90% PV penetrationmore » are relatively common, which require rapid transitions between predominately conventional synchronous generation and mostly inverter-based generation. We observe hours with almost 400 GW (over 40%) of economic curtailment and frequent (up to 36%) hours with very low energy prices.« less

Authors:
; ; ; ; ;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Renewable Power Office. Solar Energy Technologies Office
OSTI Identifier:
1573409
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1571904
Report Number(s):
NREL/JA-6A20-71948
Journal ID: ISSN 2589-0042; S2589004219303967; PII: S2589004219303967
Grant/Contract Number:  
AC36-08GO28308
Resource Type:
Published Article
Journal Name:
iScience
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Name: iScience Journal Volume: 21 Journal Issue: C; Journal ID: ISSN 2589-0042
Publisher:
Elsevier
Country of Publication:
Netherlands
Language:
English
Subject:
14 SOLAR ENERGY; 29 ENERGY PLANNING, POLICY, AND ECONOMY; photovoltaic generation; solar energy; energy storage; renewables; production cost modeling; ramping; net load; curtailment; thermal cycling; energy prices

Citation Formats

Frew, Bethany, Cole, Wesley, Denholm, Paul, Frazier, A. Will, Vincent, Nina, and Margolis, Robert. Sunny with a Chance of Curtailment: Operating the US Grid with Very High Levels of Solar Photovoltaics. Netherlands: N. p., 2019. Web. doi:10.1016/j.isci.2019.10.017.
Frew, Bethany, Cole, Wesley, Denholm, Paul, Frazier, A. Will, Vincent, Nina, & Margolis, Robert. Sunny with a Chance of Curtailment: Operating the US Grid with Very High Levels of Solar Photovoltaics. Netherlands. doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.isci.2019.10.017
Frew, Bethany, Cole, Wesley, Denholm, Paul, Frazier, A. Will, Vincent, Nina, and Margolis, Robert. Fri . "Sunny with a Chance of Curtailment: Operating the US Grid with Very High Levels of Solar Photovoltaics". Netherlands. doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.isci.2019.10.017.
@article{osti_1573409,
title = {Sunny with a Chance of Curtailment: Operating the US Grid with Very High Levels of Solar Photovoltaics},
author = {Frew, Bethany and Cole, Wesley and Denholm, Paul and Frazier, A. Will and Vincent, Nina and Margolis, Robert},
abstractNote = {With rapid declines in solar photovoltaic (PV) and energy storage costs, futures with PV penetrations approaching or exceeding 50% of total annual U.S. generation are becoming conceivable. The operational merits of such a national-scale system have not been evaluated sufficiently. Here, we analyze in detail the operational impacts of a future U.S. power system with very high annual levels of PV (>50%) with storage. We show that load and operating reserve requirements can be met for all hours while considering key generator operational constraints. Storage plays an active role in maintaining the balance of supply and demand during sunset hours. Under the highest PV penetration scenario, hours with >90% PV penetration are relatively common, which require rapid transitions between predominately conventional synchronous generation and mostly inverter-based generation. We observe hours with almost 400 GW (over 40%) of economic curtailment and frequent (up to 36%) hours with very low energy prices. (>50%) with storage. We show that load and operating reserve requirements can be met for all hours while considering key generator operational constraints. Storage plays an active role in maintaining the balance of supply and demand during sunset hours. Under the highest PV penetration scenario, hours with >90% PV penetration are relatively common, which require rapid transitions between predominately conventional synchronous generation and mostly inverter-based generation. We observe hours with almost 400 GW (over 40%) of economic curtailment and frequent (up to 36%) hours with very low energy prices.},
doi = {10.1016/j.isci.2019.10.017},
journal = {iScience},
number = C,
volume = 21,
place = {Netherlands},
year = {2019},
month = {11}
}

Journal Article:
Free Publicly Available Full Text
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DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.isci.2019.10.017

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