Parameterizing the Variability and Uncertainty of Wind and Solar in CEMs: NREL (National Renewable Energy Laboratory)

Research output: NRELPresentation


We present current and improved methods for estimating the capacity value and curtailment impacts from variable generation (VG) in capacity expansion models (CEMs). The ideal calculation of these variability metrics is through an explicit co-optimized investment-dispatch model using multiple years of VG and load data. Because of data and computational limitations, existing CEMs typically approximate these metrics using a subset of all hours from a single year and/or using statistical methods, which often do not capture the tail-event impacts or the broader set of interactions between VG, storage, and conventional generators. In our proposed new methods, we use hourly generation and load values across all hours of the year to characterize the (1) contribution of VG to system capacity during high load hours, (2) the curtailment level of VG, and (3) the reduction in VG curtailment due to storage and shutdown of select thermal generators. Using CEM model outputs from a preceding model solve period, we apply these methods to exogenously calculate capacity value and curtailment metrics for the subsequent model solve period. Preliminary results suggest that these hourly methods offer improved capacity value and curtailment representations of VG in the CEM from existing approximation methods without additional computational burdens.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages15
StatePublished - 2016

Publication series

NamePresented at the EIA Electric Capacity Expansion Modelling Workshop, 11 July 2016, Washington, D.C.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/PR-6A20-66749


  • capacity expansion models
  • capacity value
  • curtailment
  • ReEDS
  • RPM
  • variable generation


Dive into the research topics of 'Parameterizing the Variability and Uncertainty of Wind and Solar in CEMs: NREL (National Renewable Energy Laboratory)'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this