A new report “Fossil Fleet Transition with Fuel Changes and Large Scale Variable Renewable Integration” from the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) and jointly funded by the Offices of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability (OE), Fossil Energy (FE), and Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) is now available. This report addresses future operational and engineering challenges likely to face the fossil generation fleet in response to the need for much greater flexibility in power plant operations. While the principal area of interest in prior studies has been an evaluation of the feasibility of higher levels of variable wind and solar generation, this study is primarily focused on better understanding and projecting the engineering and operational challenges implicit for dispatchable assets (principally coal and natural gas units) in supporting higher levels of variable renewable generation, which will require greater grid flexibility to maintain reliable electricity. This report is intended to inform fossil generation owners, operators and vendors, researchers, and policymakers regarding fossil generation operational and engineering impacts associated with increasing levels of flexible operations, as well as reliability challenges and impacts for dispatchable assets.
The report is available for downloading through the EPRI website.