Integrating Concentrating Solar Power Technologies into the Hybrid Optimization and Performance Platform (HOPP)

William Hamilton, Janna Martinek, John Cox, Alexandra Newman

Research output: NRELTechnical Report


As the world increases renewable energy deployment, there is an increasing interest in hybridizing various generation and storage technologies to maximize net benefit to the developer and/or off-taker. A particularly interesting combination of renewable technologies is concentrating solar power (CSP) with thermal energy storage (TES), photovoltaics (PV), and electrochemical battery energy storage (BESS). Due to the system complexity of CSP technology, it is difficult to evaluate the technological and financial performance of a CSP-PV hybrid system without detailed modeling of annual operations. To address this challenge, we have developed a modeling framework for evaluating the performance and financial viability of CSP systems hybridized with PV and battery technologies. This modeling effort incorporates CSP tower and trough systems into an existing modeling tool recently developed by NREL referred to as the Hybrid Optimization and Performance Platform (HOPP). This report outlines the modeling methodology as well as preliminary results from example case studies conducted using the model. The methodology describes: (i) the integration of CSP tower and troughs into HOPP using python interfaces to access System Advisor Model (SAM) underlining technology models, (ii) the mathematical formulation of the mixed integer linear program dispatch optimization model which optimizes operations of storage asset to either maximize system revenue or minimize operating cost while load following, (iii) the design analysis methods implemented within HOPP, and (iv) simulation clustering for the purposes of reducing computational expense. We exercise the model using a case study of a future scenario where we assume (i) CSP and PV technologies achieve the 2030 cost targets provided by the Solar Energy Technologies Office (SETO), (ii) battery costs reduce to the 2030 mid cost projection presented by NREL. Lastly, (iii) electricity prices for southern California in 2030 are provided by NREL's Cambium database, and (iv) a capacity payment of $150/kW-yr based on the system capacity factor during the to 100 net-load hours.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages47
StatePublished - 2022

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/TP-5700-82726


  • concentrating solar power
  • CSP-PV hybrid
  • design optimization
  • dispatch optimization
  • hybrid optimization and performance platform
  • system modeling


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