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Hybrid compressed air energy storage, wind and geothermal energy systems in Alberta: Feasibility simulation and economic assessment

Rahmanifard, Hamid, Plaksina, Tatyana
Renewable energy 2019 v.143 pp. 453-470
air, carbon dioxide, computer software, electric power, electricity generation, emissions factor, employment, energy costs, fossil fuels, geothermal energy, greenhouse gas emissions, greenhouse gases, power generation, power plants, simulation models, wind, wind power, Alberta
Fossil fuels are the major source of electric power production in Alberta, Canada (about 90%). This makes electricity generation sector of Alberta an intensive source of CO2 emissions and a good candidate for greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction by replacing fossil fuels with low-carbon renewable energy sources. Wind and geothermal energy are two low-carbon energy sources that can be considered for electricity generation in Alberta. However, the relatively high cost of geothermal energy and intermittent nature of wind energy hinder their widespread use in the province.To address these challenges, in this study we develop a model to simulate the performance of conventional geothermal and Compressed Air Energy System (CAES)-geothermal power plants with or without wind energy in a typical hot dry rock (HDR) reservoir using CMG STARS, and Visual Basic Applications (VBA) platform in Excel.Our findings show that wind/CAES-geothermal scenario with McIntosh technology has the lowest LCOE (7.8–11.8 ¢/kWh) with the emission intensity of 88–126 gCO2/kWh. Furthermore, this scenario could reach the 10% IRR value, which results in total GDP impacts of $1,020 to $1,386 million and creation of 4,489 to 6,842 jobs in Alberta and Canada over a 10-year period.