Benefits of Colocating Concentrating Solar Power and Wind

Ramteen Sioshansi, Paul Denholm

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

106 Scopus Citations


We analyze the potential benefits of colocating wind and concentrating solar power (CSP) plants in the southwestern U.S. Using a location in western Texas as a case study, we demonstrate that such a deployment strategy can improve the capacity factor of the combined plant and the associated transmission investment. This is because of two synergies between wind and CSP: 1) the negative correlation between real-time wind and solar resource availability and 2) the use of low-cost high-efficiency thermal energy storage in CSP. The economic tradeoff between transmission and system performance is highly sensitive to CSP and transmission costs. We demonstrate that a number of deployment configurations, which include up to 67% CSP, yield a positive net return on investment.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number6502764
Pages (from-to)877-885
Number of pages9
JournalIEEE Transactions on Sustainable Energy
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2013

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-6A20-56753


  • Concentrating solar power (CSP)
  • thermal energy storage
  • transmission
  • wind


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