Optimization of 100 MWe Parabolic-Trough Solar-Thermal Power Plants Under Regulated and Deregulated Electricity Market Conditions
Llamas, Jorge M.
Bullejos Martín, David
Ruiz de Adana, Manuel
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Parabolic-trough solar-thermal power-plant investments are subordinate to radiation availability, thermal-energy storage capacity, and dynamic behavior. Their integration into electricity markets is made by minimizing grid-connection costs, thus improving energy-availability and economic-efficiency levels. In this context, this work analyzes the sizing-investment adequacy of a 100 MWe parabolic-trough solar-thermal power plant regarding solar resources and thermal energy into power-block availability for both regulated and deregulated electricity markets. For this proposal, the design of a mathematical model for the optimal operation of parabolic-trough power plants with thermal storage by two tanks of molten salt is described. Model calibration is made by using a currently operated plant. Solar-resource availability is studied in three different radiation scenarios. The levelized cost of electricity and production profit relating to the investment cost are used to analyze plant sustainability. Thus, the levelized cost of electricity shows the best plant configuration for each radiation scenario within a regulated market. For deregulated markets, the optimal plant configuration tends to enhance the solar multiple and thermal-storage capacity thanks to an increment on selling profit. The gross average annual benefit for electricity generation of deregulated against regulated markets exceeds 21% in all radiation areas under study.