Analysis of multi-output hybrid energy systems interacting with the grid: Application of improved price-taker and price-maker approaches to nuclear-hydrogen systems

Bethany Frew, Daniel Levie, James Richards, Jal Desai, Mark Ruth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus Citations


The growing recognition of the value of hydrogen as an energy intermediate in supporting future power systems with high shares of variable renewable energy has prompted many studies to quantify the economic potential of multi-output hybrid systems, which are one type of integrated energy systems (IES). Because of the complexity of modeling multiple sectors, these studies typically use simplified modeling approaches to capture the interactions between sectors. In this study, we explore the implications of alternative modeling approaches for nuclear-hydrogen IES focusing on a power system in the Midwest United States. We combine highly resolved capacity expansion and production cost modeling tools of the power system with a detailed hydrogen system optimization tool to determine the optimal electrolyzer and storage sizing and optimal operations of the nuclear-hydrogen hybrid resource across three future study years. We compare economic and operational outcomes across a spectrum of modeling approaches, including a non-hybridized base approach; a traditional price-taker approach that does not include the impact of hydrogen production on the electricity system; a power-system-focused price-maker approach that does not account for temporal hydrogen constraints; and two improved price-taker and price-maker approaches that each address the impact of revenue-optimal levels of electricity production on the resulting power system and temporal hydrogen constraints on the overall feasible solution. Results show how a traditional price-taker approach can overestimate the economic benefits of multi-output nuclear-hydrogen IES compared to our two improved approaches that estimate both hydrogen system constraints and power system interaction. We find that hydrogen output requirements and storage size limits are key drivers to overall operations and some economic outcomes. Under our assumed constant hydrogen output requirement, storage costs, test system, and modeling approaches, our results indicate that hybridization can provide a net benefit, but results are sensitive to the treatment of hydrogen revenues and electricity prices as impacted by the power system evolution.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number120184
Number of pages20
JournalApplied Energy
StatePublished - 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Elsevier Ltd

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-6A40-80546


  • Capacity expansion modeling
  • Electricity prices
  • Hydrogen
  • Integrated energy systems
  • Nuclear power
  • Production cost modeling


Dive into the research topics of 'Analysis of multi-output hybrid energy systems interacting with the grid: Application of improved price-taker and price-maker approaches to nuclear-hydrogen systems'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this