1213-coal

Coal Power Plants Could Support Cleaner Energy

Dec. 20, 2013
A new study shows that coal generation plants can be modified to fit within the new power sector and be a part of a cleaner energy system.

Can coal power plants cut it when it comes to efficient, clean energy? A new study shows that coal generation plants can be modified to fit within a cleaner energy system.

The report, Flexible Coal: Evolution from Baseload to Peaking Plant, summarizes the findings from a coal generating station that has been modified to operate more flexibly, with the ability to cycle on and off daily and run at low generation levels. The report was prepared by analysts from the Energy Department's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and Intertek for 21st Century Power Partnership.

"This study proves that coal can be part of a power system with high levels of renewable energy," said NREL's Jaquelin Cochran, a lead author of the report. "Coal plants can be modified to respond to the changing output of renewable energy and run at low levels when renewable electricity generation is high but demand is low, such as at night. There is a cost to this flexibility, but these costs can be minimized with strategic modifications and maintenance."

The power sector's transition to greater levels of renewable energy, demand response, and other emerging technologies requires flexibility in terms of power generation. It will favor plants that can cycle on and off multiple times per day and be turned down to low levels. The ability of other coal plant operators to replicate the flexibility of the studied plant will be instrumental in valuing coal in an increasingly low-carbon energy system, according to the study.

Voice your opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of Buildings, create an account today!

Sponsored Recommendations

Building Security & Technology Month

Date: May 8, 15, 22, 29. 2024Time: 1:00 PM EDT / 12:00 PM CDT / 10:00 AM PDT / 5:00 PM GMTSponsors: Duration: 1 Hour each  Register Today!  Single sign...

Building Better Schools

Download this digital resource to better understand the challenges and opportunities in designing and operating educational facilities for safety, sustainability, and performance...

Tips to Keep Facility Management on Track

How do you plan to fill the knowledge gap as seasoned facility managers retire or leave for new opportunities? Learn about the latest strategies including FM tech innovations ...

The Beauty & Benefits of Biophilic Design in the Built Environment

Biophilic design is a hot trend in design, but what is it and how can building professionals incorporate these strategies for the benefits of occupants? This eHandbook offers ...