Hybridizing a Geothermal Power Plant with Concentrating Solar Power and Thermal Storage to Increase Power Generation and Dispatchability

Joshua Dominic McTigue, Craig Turchi, Guangdong Zhu, Greg Mungas, Nick Kramer, Jose Castro, John King

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

62 Scopus Citations

Abstract

Geothermal power plants often deploy less than their full power capacity due to declining geothermal resources. Integrating heat from a concentrating solar power (CSP) collector field increases the power output at low cost. This article considers five methods of solar heat addition in a double-flash geothermal plant. The most promising solution converts solar heat into electrical work with an efficiency of 24.3%. The economic feasibility and optimal sizing of the solar field and thermal stores are evaluated. A hybrid plant that increases power generation from 22 to 24 MWe has a Levelized Cost of Electricity (LCOE) of 0.07 ± 0.01 $/kWhe. Adding three hours of storage increases the LCOE to 0.08 ± 0.01 $/kWhe. Photovoltaic systems are considered to be a low-cost renewable technology, but an equivalent photovoltaic system with battery storage costs 0.15 ± 0.07 $/kWhe due to the high cost and replacement rate of batteries compared to thermal storage. The hybrid plant also has a lower LCOE than a conventional CSP plant. If the dispatchability that thermal storage provides is rewarded with higher electricity prices, calculations indicate storage becomes an attractive investment when discharged power receives 1.75 times the typical price of electricity.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)1837-1852
Number of pages16
JournalApplied Energy
Volume228
DOIs
StatePublished - 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5500-70894

Keywords

  • Concentrating solar power
  • Geothermal power
  • Hybrid power generation
  • Levelized cost of energy
  • Retrofit
  • Thermal energy storage

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