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Very Large-Scale Deployment of Grid-Connected Solar Photovoltaics in the United States: Challenges and Opportunities; Preprint

Description: This paper analyzes the potential for solar photovoltaics (PV) to be deployed on a very large scale and provide a large fraction of a system's electricity. It explicitly examines how the hourly availability of PV interacts with the limited flexibility of traditional electricity generation plants. The authors found that, under high penetration levels and existing grid-operation procedures and rules, the system will have excess PV generation during certain periods of the year. This excess PV generation results in increased costs, which can increase dramatically when PV provides on the order of 10%-15% of total electricity demand in systems that are heavily dependent on inflexible baseload steam plants. Measures to increase penetration of PV are also discussed, including increased system flexibility, increased dispatchable load, and energy storage.
Date: April 1, 2006
Creator: Denholm, P. & Margolis, R.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department