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In August 2010, Renewable Northwest staff developed a report summarizing publicly available information on the ability of existing coal plants to operate more flexibly. The report finds considerable data on coal plants that have been retrofitted to accommodate more flexible operations, such as reducing generation at night or at times when renewable energy is available to displace them.
From the report summary:
"Many coal plant operators are experiencing higher economic efficiencies than are available from operating their units strictly as baseload facilities. Coal power plants covering a range of designs and vintages are operating as more dynamically dispatchable units. Retrofitting existing units can improve the flexibility of existing coal plants and mitigate expected increased O&M costs and unit outages. Flexible dispatch of coal plants allows plant operators to take advantage of greater overall power system optimization as well as lower overall emissions by making more efficient use of available renewable energy."
Please contact Renewable Northwest if you have questions regarding this report.
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