Wind and Solar Hybrid Power Plants for Energy Resilience

Caitlyn Clark, Aaron Barker, Jennifer King, James Reilly

Research output: NRELTechnical Report


Wind-solar-storage hybrid power plants represent a significant and growing share of new proposed projects in the United States (U.S.). Their uptake is supported by increasing renewable energy market share, technical abilities for dispatch and control, and decreasing wind, solar, and battery storage costs. Simultaneously, generation and storage resources are increasingly used in distributed power systems. While concerns around the reliability of the aging, transforming U.S. electric grid are growing, diversifying energy resources through hybridization or spatial distribution provides an opportunity to enhance power system resilience compared to single-source generation. Understanding where to build hybrids for resilience value, rather than bulk power supply, has not been fully explored in previous studies. Therefore, in this study, we complete a national complementarity analysis to identify areas in the U.S. that are particularly suited for wind-solar hybrid power plant development. We show the importance of seasonal and diurnal patterns in assessing complementarity, and identify that regions in the Great Plains, midwest, and southeast are particularly suited for hybrid power plants. We demonstrate the resilience value of hybridization for a reference system based near Memphis, Tennessee, and show optimal sizing of wind, solar, and storage assets given 1.0 and 0.9 critical load factors. Results indicate that pairing wind and solar assets better meet constant load demand and reduce storage requirements compared to solar alone. These results enable future work integrating complementarity metrics in resilience frameworks and indicate a need for more finer resolution of local resource, demand, and hazard data.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages37
StatePublished - 2022

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/TP-5R00-80415


  • distributed
  • energy resilience
  • hybrid power plant
  • hybrids
  • microgrids
  • solar
  • wind


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