Understanding Economic and Deployment Benefits of Wind-PV Hybrid Power Plants

Caitlin Murphy, Patrick Brown, Anna Schleifer

Research output: NRELPresentation


The least-cost approach to decarbonizing the U.S. electricity supply will likely involve a significantly expanded share of variable renewable energy (VRE) generation. Many strategies and approaches have been identified to address integration challenges in a VRE-dominated system, including standalone and coupled battery systems. In this study, we explored the current and future potential of utility-scale hybrid energy systems comprising PV, wind, and lithium-ion battery technologies (PV-wind-battery systems). Analysis results include temporal complementarity of wind and PV resources across the contiguous United States, with an emphasis on metrics that quantify reductions in variability that can be achieved through hybridization. We further use a price-taker model with simulated hourly energy and capacity prices to determine the revenue-maximizing dispatch of a range of PV-wind-battery configurations across Texas, from the present through 2050. We find that coupling PV, wind, and battery technologies allows for more effective utilization of interconnection capacity by increasing capacity factors to 60-80%+ and capacity credits to close to 100%, depending on battery capacity. We also compared the energy and capacity values of PV-wind and PV-wind-battery systems to the corresponding stability coefficient metric, which describes the location-and configuration-specific complementarity of PV and wind resources. Our results show that the stability coefficient effectively predicts the configuration-location combinations in which a smaller battery component can provide comparable economic performance in a PV-wind-battery system (compared to a PV-battery system). These PV-wind-battery hybrids can help integrate more VRE by providing smoother, more predictable generation and greater flexibility. Finally, capacity expansion modeling of PV-wind systems indicates that hybridization can reduce transmission expansion requirements associated with a heavily decarbonized U.S. electricity system.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages15
StatePublished - 2022

Publication series

NamePresented at the Energy Systems Integration Group (ESIG) Fall Technical Workshop 2022, 24-27 October 2022, Minneapolis, Minnesota

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/PR-6A20-84193


  • complementarity
  • FlexPower
  • hybrid
  • ReEDS
  • RODeO
  • solar
  • storage
  • wind


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