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Assessing the potential role of concentrated solar power (CSP) for the northeast power system of Brazil using a detailed power system model

Fichter, Tobias, Soria, Rafael, Szklo, Alexandre, Schaeffer, Roberto, Lucena, Andre F.P.
Energy 2017 v.121 pp. 695-715
biomass, energy, hybridization, irradiation, models, planning, power plants, solar energy, Brazil
One of the technologies that stand out as an alternative to provide additional flexibility to power systems with large penetration of variable renewable energy (VRE), especially for regions with high direct normal irradiation (DNI), is concentrated solar power (CSP) plants coupled to thermal energy storage (TES) and back-up (BUS) systems. Brazil can develop this technology domestically, especially in its Northeast region, where most of VRE capacity is being deployed and where lies most of the CSP potential of the country. This work applies the Capacity Expansion Model REMix-CEM, which allows considering dispatch constraints of thermal power plants in long-term capacity expansion optimization. REMix-CEM calculates the optimal CSP plant configuration and its dispatch strategy from a central planning perspective. Results showed that the hybridization of CSP plants with jurema-preta biomass (CSP-BIO) becomes a least-cost option for Brazil by 2040. CSP-BIO contributes to the Northeast power system by regularizing the energy imbalance that results from the large-scale VRE expansion along with conventional inflexible power plants. CSP-BIO plants are able to increase frequency response and operational reserve services and can provide the required additional flexibility that the Northeast power system of Brazil will require into the future.