Lisa Göransson and Filip Johnsson: Large scale integration of wind power: moderating thermal power plant cycling, Wind Energy 2011: 14:91-105.


Power plant cycling in thermal plants typically implies high costs and emissions. It is, therefore, important to find ways to reduce the influence of variations in wind power generation on these plants without forsaking large amounts of wind power. Using a unit commitment model, this work investigates the possibility to reduce variations by means of a moderator, such as a storage unit or import/export capacity. The relation between the reduction in CO2-emissions and the power rating of the moderator is investigated, as well as the benefit of a moderator which handles weekly variations compared with a moderator which has to be balanced on a daily basis.

It is found that a daily balanced moderator yields a decrease in emissions of about 2% at 20% wind power grid penetration. The reduction in emissions is mainly due to an avoidance of start-up and part load emissions and a moderator of modest power rating is sufficient to achieve most of this decrease. In the case of a weekly balanced moderator, emissions are reduced as the moderator power rating increases. At 40% wind power grid penetration, a weekly balanced moderator reduces emissions with up to 11%. The major part of this reduction is due to the avoidance of wind power curtailment.

The simulated benefit (CO2-emissions and costs) from adding a general moderator is compared with emissions from Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) studies and cost data of five available moderator technologies; transmission capacity, pumped hydro power, compressed air energy storage, flow batteries and sodium sulphur batteries.