The Value of Concentrating Solar Power in Ancillary Services Markets

Kehinde Abiodun, Karoline Hood, John Cox, Alexandra Newman, Alex Zolan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus Citations


Ancillary services, such as spinning reserves, can provide grid reliability and contribute to profitability of an energy resource. We exercise an existing dispatch optimization model to estimate the profitability of a concentrating solar power plant by incorporating the sale of spinning reserves in the ancillary service market using the National Renewable Energy Laboratory's System Advisor Model to simulate operations within a 72-h rolling horizon framework. Assuming a price-taker approach with day-ahead energy and spinning reserve prices from both the California Independent System Operator and the Electricity Reliability Council of Texas, we find that selling spinning reserves in addition to electric energy increases plant profitability by up to 7% with perfect knowledge of day-ahead pricing and solar resource availability. This finding suggests that spinning reserve markets provide significant value streams to concentrating solar power plants that can leverage thermal energy storage to offer reliable production in the short-to-medium term.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number120518
Number of pages16
JournalApplied Energy
StatePublished - 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Elsevier Ltd

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5700-84798


  • Ancillary services
  • Concentrating solar power
  • Mixed-integer programming applications
  • Price-taker
  • Renewable energy
  • Spinning reserves


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