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Missouri PSC Approves Grain Belt Express HVDC Transmission Project

LCG, March 22, 2019--The Missouri Public Service Commission (PSC) approved a request filed by Grain Belt Express Clean Line LLC for a certificate of convenience and necessity (CCN) to construct, own, operate, control, manage and maintain a high-voltage, direct-current (HVDC) transmission line to move power east from wind farms in western Kansas to load centers in Missouri, Illinois and Indiana.

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FPL Targets 1,490 MW of Solar Capacity for New Community Solar Program

LCG, March 15, 2019--Florida Power & Light Company (FPL) Wednesday filed a proposal with the Florida Public Service Commission (PSC) for a new community solar program, FPL SolarTogether. Pending PSC approval, FPL plans to install 1,490-MW of capacity at 20 new solar power plants across FPL's service territory to meet anticipated customer enrollment in the program.

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Press Release

Impacts of High Variable Renewable Energy Futures


May 23, 2018 -- Lawrence Berkeley Lab partnered with LCG Consulting to develop a large number of variable renewable energy (VRE) scenarios to derive future generator portfolios and hourly price and emissions series. The main objective of this exercise is to offer policymakers, utilities and grid authorities a long-range view of how current choices could impact their future ability to cope with changes in the electric sector.

In particular, simulations address generation mix, wholesale and ancillary service prices, and carbon emissions across SPP, NYISO, CAISO, and ERCOT in 2030. The modeling effort and the underlying simulations were led by an LCG expert team and conducted with LCG’s proprietary models including the long-term least-cost planning program, Gen-X, the integrated G&T market model, UPLAN-NPM, and the regional PLATO data models.

The study found a general decrease in average annual hourly wholesale energy prices with more VRE penetration, increased price volatility and frequency of very low-priced hours, and changing diurnal price patterns. Ancillary service prices rise substantially and peak net-load hours with high capacity value are shifted increasingly into the evening, particularly for high solar futures. A significant decrease in non VRE generation and a modest decrease of firm capacity need were observed for high VRE future. Figure below shows the mean diurnal (24h) energy price profiles by scenario and region, averaged over all weekdays.
Wholesale Price Effects of 40-50% Wind and Solar
Source: Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

The diurnal price profiles display the infamous duck curve in all regions for high solar case. The overall electricity prices for all VRE scenarios show a decline across all regions by $5 - $16/MWh with strong total price decline in NYISO, CAISO, and SPP for the solar case while ERCOT has the largest price reduction in the wind case. For the high VRE cases, the study observed substantial increase in low price hours. The annual share of low price hours where the prices are below $5/MWh varies from region to region from 2.5% to 19% for all hours of the year. These low price hours offer an opportunity for hybrid renewables and storage developers such as CAES, batteries, and load shifting programs to optimize their asset portfolios.

Energy Prices
Source: LCG UPLAN-NPM simulation

The changes in the diurnal energy price profile, high ancillary service prices, and increased volatility may offer energy industry participants a new perspective for their future planning under alternative scenario. Hopefully, the study brings into focus how the current choices could impact their future ability to cope with changes in the electric sector.

Report (LBNL, LCG): http://eta-publications.lbl.gov/sites/default/files/report_pdf_0.pdf
Abstract, report and Data (LBNL): https://emp.lbl.gov/publications/impacts-high-variable-renewable


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