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A framework for siting and dispatch of emerging energy resources to realize environmental health benefits: Case study on peaker power plant displacement

July 7, 2016
Elena Krieger, PhD, Joan Casey, PhD, Seth Shonkoff, PhD

Published in Energy Policy, Vol. 96, September 2016, p. 302-313

 

Dr. Elena Krieger, Dr. Joan Casey, and Dr. Seth Shonkoff present a case study of California peaker plants, and highlight the environmental and air quality benefits of replacing these infrequently-used plants with emerging energy technologies. These could include demand response, on-site renewable generation, energy storage recharged with natural gas, and energy storage recharged with renewables, or with a combination of natural gas and renewables.


The study also presents policy recommendations for how energy commissions, air resource boards, and utilities can collaborate to use local climate and air quality data as a signal to dispatch energy from clean sources when air quality is projected to be at unhealthy levels. 

 

If grid operators can predict poor air quality around the time of peak demand, it could also follow a similar protocol for dispatching low- or non-emitting sources during that time. In other regions of the country where the most polluting electricity sources are coal plants or other non-peak generation, a different combination of technologies may be most useful to avoid these emissions at times of poor air quality.

 

In practice, this policy can improve air quality and the public health of burdened communities living near power plants.

 

 

Click here to access paper online.

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