Using Concentrating-Solar-Power Plants as Economic Carbon-Free Capacity Resources

Kejiro Yagi, Ramteen Sioshansi, Paul Denholm

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus Citations

Abstract

Deep decarbonization of electricity systems raises concerns about the need for generating capacity that can maintain reliable energy supply. Given this concern, we explore the ability of concentrating-solar-power plants with thermal energy storage to provide a carbon-free source of such capacity. We develop an approach to assessing the capacity contribution of concentrating-solar-power plants that considers future systems. Such considerations are important, because of potential differences in net-load patterns compared to today (e.g., due to higher renewable-energy penetrations). Using historical data spanning an 18-year period, we demonstrate that concentrating-solar-power plants with thermal energy storage can provide this necessary capacity with little impact on their financial viability. We examine the impact of myopic decisions and imperfect foresight of future system conditions on the operation of concentrating-solar-power plants and the resultant impact on their capacity contributions. We find that imperfect foresight can have limited impacts on such a use of concentrating-solar-power plants, so long as proper forecasting techniques are developed and used. Overall, our work shows that concentrating-solar-power plants with thermal energy storage may have a role to play in delivering reliable electricity supply in a decarbonized energy system.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number100112
Number of pages13
JournalEnergy Conversion and Management
Volume12
DOIs
StatePublished - 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 The Authors

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-6A20-75988

Keywords

  • Capacity value
  • Concentrating solar power
  • Peaking generation
  • Thermal energy storage

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Using Concentrating-Solar-Power Plants as Economic Carbon-Free Capacity Resources'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this