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Pumped storage in systems with very high wind penetration

Authors
Disciplines
  • Ecology
  • Economics

Abstract

This paper examines the operation of the Irish power system with very high levels of wind energy, with and without pumped storage. A unit commitment model which accounts for the uncertainty in wind power is used. It is shown that as wind penetration increases, the optimal operation of storage depends on wind output as well as load. The main benefit from storage is shown to be a decrease in wind curtailment. The economics of the system are examined to find the level at which storage justifies its capital costs and inefficiencies. It is shown that the uncertainty of wind makes the option of storage more attractive. The size of the energy store has an impact on results. At lower levels of installed wind (up to approximately 50% of energy from wind in Ireland), the reduction in curtailment is insufficient to justify building storage. At greater levels of wind, storage reduces curtailment sufficiently to justify the additional capital costs. It can be seen that if storage replaces OCGTs in the plant mix instead of CCGTs, then the level at which it justifies itself is lower. Storage increases the level of carbon emissions at wind penetration below 60%.

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