Value of Concentrating Solar Power and Thermal Energy Storage

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This paper examines the value of concentrating solar power (CSP) and thermal energy storage (TES) in a number of regions in the southwestern United States. Our analysis shows that TES can increase the value of CSP by allowing more thermal energy from a CSP plant's solar field to be used, allowing a CSP plant to accommodate a larger solar field, and by allowing CSP generation to be shifted to hourswith higher energy prices. We analyze the sensitivity of this value to a number of factors, including the optimization period, price and solar forecasting, ancillary service sales, and dry cooling of the CSP plant, and also estimate the capacity value of a CSP plant with TES. We further discuss the value of CSP plants and TES net of capital costs.
Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)173-183
Number of pages11
JournalIEEE Transactions on Sustainable Energy
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2010

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-6A2-47680


  • economics
  • solar power generation
  • thermal energy storage (TES)


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