A methodology to assess the interactions of renewable energy systems dynamics with fluctuating loads

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Virginia Tech

This dissertation introduces a new planning and operational tool to integrate photovoltaic (PV) systems into the utility's generation mix. It is recognized that much of the existing research concentrated on the central PV system, its operations, and long-term planning with PV system and concluded that technical problems in PV_ operation. will _power was subtracted from the utility load with the expectation that conventional generation would meet the load. This approach is valid for small penetration levels and for PV facilities connected near the load centers. Second, PV system was studied on a case-by-case basis. This made the interactions between the PV systems and conventional power systems not well known to the operator in the dispatch center on one hand, and to the PV system manufacturer, on the other hand. In addition, several constraints such as thermal generation ramping capabilities, energy costs, tie-line interchange, spinning reserve requirements, hydro availability and generating capacity, and pumped-storage scheduling are not adequately represented in this process. These are real problems and their solutions are sought in this dissertation. Finally, the value of PV systems does not lie only in serving load, but also in reducing problems associated with emissions. It is felt that a comprehensive methodology that would take into account the PV system characteristics and the forth mentioned constraints, as well as more global penetration is developed. The proposed methodology is designed to handle load dynamics and PV fluctuations, so as to minimize operational problems.

The objective of this study is to determine the economic and operational impacts when large photovoltaic systems are incorporated into the electric utility generation mix. The proposed methodology handles combustion turbines, hydro and pumped-storage hydro power systems. Performance analysis shows that hydro availability, generation mix and characteristics, PV power output dynamics and performance, time of the year, and energy costs influence the economic and operational impacts of large-scale PV generation. Results show that while hydro dispatching increases acceptable PV penetration levels, generation mix and energy costs influence the breakeven capital cost. According to this study, for a 10 percent PV penetration level (1200 MW) and high energy costs, the breakeven capital cost is $968/kW and $1200/kW for Richmond (Virginia) and Raleigh (North Carolina), respectively. This corresponds to an energy cost of 3.20 and 3.00 ¢/kWh for Richmond and Raleigh.