Advanced Coal Wind Hybrid: Economic Analysis
Growing concern over climate change is prompting new thinking about the technologies used to generate electricity. In the future, it is possible that new government policies on greenhouse gas emissions may favor electric generation technology options that release zero or low levels of carbon emissions. The Western U.S. has abundant wind and coal resources. In a world with carbon constraints, the future of coal for new electrical generation is likely to depend on the development and successful application of new clean coal technologies with near zero carbon emissions. This scoping study explores the economic and technical feasibility of combining wind farms with advanced coal generation facilities and operating them as a single generation complex in the Western US. The key questions examined are whether an advanced coal wind hybrid (ACWH) facility provides sufficient advantages through improvements to the utilization of transmission lines and the capability to firm up variable wind generation for delivery to load centers to compete effectively with other supply-side alternatives in terms of project economics and emissions footprint. The study was conducted by an Analysis Team that consists of staff from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL), National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL), National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), and Western Interstate Energy Board (WIEB).