Study Finds Effects of Power Plant Cycling to be Negligible
A new study from the National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL) finds that operating costs associated with additional power plant cycling caused by the integration of renewables to the grid are negligible when compared to fuel costs offset by displacing fossil fuels with renewable energy. In its Western Wind and Solar Integration Study Phase 2, NREL finds that individual power plants will see 2-5% increases in operating costs, amounting to $35-$157 million across the entire Western grid. This is offset by over $7 billion in avoided fuel costs under 33% renewable scenarios. The study also finds that emissions caused by increased cycling are negligible, and more than offset by the emissions offset by adding renewables to the Western grid.