NewEnergyNews: SOLAR’S COST TO UTILITIES

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    Thursday, July 17, 2014

    SOLAR’S COST TO UTILITIES

    Integrating Solar PV in Utility System Operations

    Mills, Andrew D., et al, March 2014 (Argonne National Lab, Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, National Renewable Energy Lab)

    “…Because solar PV power output is both variable and uncertain, there are concerns about how its inclusion…in significant amounts affects conventional power systems operations…This report proposes a systematic framework for analyzing implications for operating procedures and corresponding increases in operating costs due to uncertainty and variability in renewable resources...[It is] based on the projected generation portfolio of a utility in the southwest (Arizona Public Service)…The costs of sub-hourly solar variability, short-term forecast errors, and day-ahead (DA) forecast errors are estimated…In a lower PV scenario (8.8% of annual demand) we find that the operational challenges are relatively modest…[and] primarily due to an increase in the cost of balancing reserves held during hour-ahead scheduling. In a high-PV scenario (17% of annual demand), however, we find the operational challenges to be more substantial…[C]urtailments of renewable energy reach a very high level (17.8% of the renewable potential) and…satisfying balancing reserve requirements is challenging in a few hours of the year…With increased flexibility the estimated integration costs vary…[up to] $4.4/MWh-PV in the high PV scenario. Increased flexibility also reduces the curtailment of renewables to between 0.9% and 9.1% of the renewable potential, indicating that the increased system flexibility makes it much easier to absorb high solar PV penetration levels…” click here for more

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