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An Evaluation on the Cost Efficiency of Wind and Solar Hybrid Power System

  • Author(s): Gu, Tianhao
  • Advisor(s): Kleissl, Jan P
  • et al.

Solar energy generation is intermittent due to the limitation of night time and weather, so batteries are normally used to stabilize the solar energy output in the distributed generation system. However, batteries are still expensive and have relatively short life span. The motivation of this research is to evaluate if wind energy can be a more cost efficient solution to replace battery storage.

An algorithm is created to analyze the solar irradiance, wind speed and load data from two different cities, Atlantic City and San Diego. Then find the most cost efficient renewable energy solution for each city under different renewable energy penetration level. The result shows that the wind energy is not a good substitution for battery. The solar and wind hybrid system can reach higher renewable energy penetration level, but the cost of the system and the wasted energy percentage is also extremely high. In San Diego, the integration of wind energy does not bring any economic benefit to the solar system. In Atlantic City, where the wind energy resource is abundant, adding wind turbines to the solar battery system can lower the system cost while maintaining the same level of renewable energy penetration.

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