Flexible fuel rotation for the retrofitting of lignite power plants

Varympopiotis, Grigoris and Tolis, Athanasios and Rentizelas, Athanasios and Tatsiopoulos, Ilias and Aravossis, Konstantinos (2013) Flexible fuel rotation for the retrofitting of lignite power plants. Fresenius Environmental Bulletin, 22 (7a). pp. 2074-2086. ISSN 1018-4619

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A fuel based optimality approach is to be presented, adapted for large retrofitting projects in the electricity market. The case study focuses on existing lignite power plants that may switch their fuel to natural gas and from that point on they may either switch back to lignite or retain natural gas or routinely switch between these two alternative operating fuels. The goal of the operating fuel rotation is to maximize profits, depending on the economical and environmental characteristics of each discrete time period under study. The business risks may also be reduced by exploiting the most profitable operational option in response to markets’ instabilities. The data for this research have been retrieved from the Greek Power Sector. Probabilistic models are utilized for the simulation of future prices, in conjunction with a real options model used for the analysis of the alternative strategies. The study has shown that the potential benefits from the implementation of fuel rotation are reflected in the anticipated financial yields, which may be significantly higher than in single fuel operation. Moreover, the operational stability and flexibility as well as the security of fuel supply are also ensured in the target power plant.