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An Analysis of Concentrating Solar Power with Thermal Energy Storage in a California 33% Renewable Scenario
Denholm, P.; Wan, Y. H.; Hummon, M.; Mehos, M.

This analysis evaluates CSP with TES in a scenario where California derives 33% of its electricity from renewable energy sources. It uses a commercial grid simulation tool to examine the avoided operational and capacity costs associated with CSP and compares this value to PV and a baseload generation with constant output. Overall, the analysis demonstrates several properties of dispatchable CSP, including the flexibility to generate during periods of high value and avoid generation during periods of lower value. Of note in this analysis is the fact that significant amount of operational value is derived from the provision of reserves in the case where CSP is allowed to provide these services. This analysis also indicates that the 'optimal' configuration of CSP could vary as a function of renewable penetration, and each configuration will need to be evaluated in terms of its ability to provide dispatchable energy, reserves, and firm capacity. The model can be used to investigate additional scenarios involving alternative technology options and generation mixes, applying these scenarios within California or in other regions of interest.

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