Integration with Renewables
With intermittent renewable power making a growing contribution to the overall energy mix, sCO2-based power plants can respond more quickly to changes in demand than conventional power plants.
Renewable energy sources, such as wind and solar, account for an increasing portion of the overall power supply in the electrical grid. These sources are intermittent, with variations by time of day or changes occurring even within minutes due to changing weather conditions. In order to provide reliable electricity for consumers, other sources within the electrical grid must be increasingly able to respond to these changes in demand patterns.
The sCO2 power cycle is very flexible and can respond quickly to changes in demand, enabling electricity grids to seamlessly integrate base load generation with intermittent renewable solar and wind power. This flexibility is aided by the compact sizes of essential power plant components. The STEP Demo program includes an extensive test phase during which the capabilities of the sCO2 to respond to load transients will be demonstrated.