This paper proposes a set of indicators to quantify the impact of conventional thermal generating unit cycling on its non-fuel variable costs (NFVC) due to generation mix changes in the system. A novel iterative cost adjustment framework is developed to evaluate the proposed indicators in order to assess the impacts of increasing installation of renewable resources on operation costs of the thermal units. The proposed framework allows private investors to estimate NFVC using a minimum level of information without a full knowledge of the system parameters. Additionally, the proposed framework is kept generic which support the NFVC adjustment for the conventional thermal units in a changing market environment. The impact of accelerated solar PV penetration on cycling and operational costs of existing thermal power plants in the Chilean power system is assessed using the developed indicators and methodology. The results suggest that natural gas driven peaking power plants are more susceptible to experience increased NFVC from solar PV growth than coal fired base load power plants.
Cycling Impact Assessment of Renewable Energy Generation in the Costs of Conventional Generators
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