The Concentrating Solar Power Alliance (CSPA) has issued an updated report making a case for the economic and reliability benefits of deploying concentrating solar power (CSP) electricity generation systems in concert with thermal energy storage.
CSP with energy storage is more competitive on an economic basis than wind or solar photovoltaic sources when the comprehensive net grid system costs are compared, the report says. In particular, the long-term energy, ancillary service and capacity benefits are said to provide an additional $30/MWh to $60/MWh when compared to a PV plant with equal annual energy production in high renewable penetration scenarios. The CSPA says this finding is critical for the development of renewable energy portfolios in regions with high solar potential.
As renewable energy penetration increases, the operational flexibility offered by CSP with storage supports integration of wind and PV, the report says. For example, the maintenance of CSP with thermal storage in the portfolio as a dispatchable resource could serve to counteract moves to curtail variable renewable energy generation.
‘As the penetration of variable renewable energy resources increases worldwide, more attention is being paid to the effects of renewable energy on power system reliability and operations,’ says Tex Wilkins, executive director of the CSPA. ‘As we explore in this report, CSP with thermal energy storage is a potential solution that meets clean energy and climate change policy goals, reduces the variability of the aggregate renewable energy portfolios, and provides a wide range of operational and reliability benefits.’
The full report, along with supporting literature, studies and research, is available here.
For more information on how renewable energy sources such as CSP and storage can work together in effective hybrid combinations, visit the Hybrid Energy Innovations event website here.