Impact of Operational Flexibility on Electricity Generation Planning with Renewable and Carbon Targets

Bryan S. Palmintier, Mort D. Webster

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

72 Scopus citations


Recent work on operational flexibility - a power system's ability to respond to variations in demand and supply - has focused on the impact of large penetration of renewable generation on existing power systems. Operational flexibility is equally important for long-term capacity expansion planning. Future systems with larger shares of renewable generation, and/or carbon emission limits, will require flexible generation mixes; yet, flexibility is rarely fully considered in capacity planning models because of the computational demands of including mixed integer unit commitment within capacity expansion. We present a computationally efficient unit commitment/maintenance/capacity planning formulation that includes the critical operating constraints. An example of capacity planning for a Texas-like system in 2035 with hypothetical RPS and carbon policies shows how considering flexibility results in different capacity and energy mixes and emissions, and that the omission of flexibility can lead to a system that is unable to simultaneously meet demand, carbon, and RPS requirements.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number7350236
Pages (from-to)672-684
Number of pages13
JournalIEEE Transactions on Sustainable Energy
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1 2016


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment

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