The Role of Concentrating Solar Power Toward High Renewable Energy Penetrated Power Systems

Brian Hodge, Benjamin Kroposki, Erhun Du, Ning Zhang, Qin Wang, Chongqing Kang, Qing Xia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

213 Scopus Citations


Achieving high renewable energy penetrated power systems requires considerable operational flexibility to hedge the variability and uncertainty of variable renewable energy (VRE) generation. Compared with VRE sources, concentrating solar power (CSP) is an emerging controllable renewable generation technique that utilizes solar thermal power to generate electricity. The operational dispatchability of CSP would contribute to the power system transition toward high renewable penetration. In this paper, we explore how the generation portfolio will change toward high renewable energy penetrations, how much cost is involved, and what role CSP will play in realizing a high renewable energy penetrated power system. This study relies on a stochastic two-stage generation and transmission expansion planning model with CSP plants. The model captures the uncertainty and variability of renewable generation and the flexibility limits of thermal plants. With the target of achieving a renewable-dominated minimum-cost system with an expected renewable energy penetration level, the investments of both generation and transmission facilities are optimized. A case study on IEEE test systems with renewable technology cost data in 2050 is performed to analyze the value of CSP toward high renewable energy penetrated power systems.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number8356090
Pages (from-to)6630-6641
Number of pages12
JournalIEEE Transactions on Power Systems
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 IEEE.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5D00-72794


  • Concentrating solar power
  • high renewable penetration
  • power system planning
  • variable renewable energy


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