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Authors: Gay, Chandler
Advisors: Powell, Warren
Department: Operations Research and Financial Engineering
Class Year: 2016
Abstract: Recent research has seen a trend towards abandonment of solar photovoltaic technologies in favor of wind generation as the dominant technology to achieve optimal renewable investment mixes supporting load on the grid. This thesis addresses variability in solar generation as a problematic characteristic of PV technology that may very well be catalyzing this falling out. We present methodologies to analyze the marginal cost of variability, implementing variability mitigation techniques in a stochastic dynamic simulation model to determine optimal investment allocations in a high-penetration solar environment. We present our results in terms of the levelized cost of energy by deriving the present value of all future generation, investment, and operation costs and normalizing against the average sustained generation capacity meeting load from the grid. This robust metric allows us to establish reliable comparison with prior research on the topic, and we are able to conclude that our simulated methods of diminishing interday solar variability and integrating large-scale geographic diversification of generation sources do in fact have the potential to provide significant cost benefits as compared to active solar photovoltaic installations today.
Extent: 58 pages
Type of Material: Princeton University Senior Theses
Language: en_US
Appears in Collections:Operations Research and Financial Engineering, 2000-2017

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