T.A. Deetjen, J.B. Garrison, J.D. Rhodes and M.E. Webber, August 2016 (Citation)
Adding large solar photovoltaic (PV) resources into an electric grid influences the flexibility characteristics of its net load profile. The dispatch of the existing generation fleet changes as it adjusts to accommodate the new net load. This study categorizes and defines these flexibility characteristics. It utilizes a unit commitment and dispatch (UC&D) model to simulate large solar generation assets with different geographic locations and orientations. The simulations show the sensitivity of the wholesale energy price, reserve market prices, total dispatch cost, fuel mix, emissions, and water use to changes in net load flexibility requirements. The results show that generating 22,500 GW h of solar energy in a 2011 simulation of the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) reduces total dispatch cost by approximately $900 million (a 10.3% decrease) while increasing ancillary services costs by approximately $10 million (a 3% increase). The results also show that PV reduces water consumption and water withdrawals as well as CO2, NOx, and SOx emissions. It also reduces peak load by 4% but increases net load volatility by 40–79% and ramping by 11–33%. In addition, west-located, west-oriented solar resources reduce total dispatch cost more than the other simulated solar scenarios. The west-located, west-oriented solar simulation required greater system flexibility, but utilized more low-cost generators and fewer high-cost generators for energy production than other simulated scenarios. These results suggest that the mix of energy provided by different generation technologies influences the dispatch cost more than the net load flexibility requirements.
T.A. Deetjen, J.B. Garrison, J.D. Rhodes and M.E. Webber, “Solar PV integration cost variation due to array orientation and geographic location in the Electric Reliability Council of Texas,” Applied Energy, Volume 180, 607-616 (2016).