Impacts of environmental regulation and wind penetration level on the ERCOT market



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As more renewable resources are added into the grid and environmental regulations are imposed to reduce emissions, there will be dramatic changes in the generation portfolio. Assessing the impact of these changes is important for policy makers, market participants, and general public to understand trends in the electricity market. This paper addresses this issue by analyzing how the ERCOT market is affected by CO2 penalty and wind penetration. In order to assess the future power system, the study model should represent the long term dynamics of various factors to find out how investment decisions are made economically in a competitive market with appropriate assumptions. Another important aspect is the short term market dynamics from real operation of power system. For this study, AURORAxmp, a commercially available market simulator, is utilized to capture both long term and short term dynamics. This study runs 5 different scenarios: two base cases with and without CO2 price, 20%, 27%, and 33% wind penetration level. The result shows that, increasing wind penetration reduces production and capacity of both coal and gas units, electricity market prices, and amount of emissions. However, increasing wind penetration has greater impacts on a decrease in generation from thermal units than reduction in thermal capacity, resulting in 11.4% capacity value of wind power. The study also confirms that CO2 price impacts capacity and generation of coal (negatively) and gas (positively) units in opposite ways, and reduces emission, but increases power prices and generation cost. Especially, the impact on retirement of coal units is noticeable. Almost half of the current coal capacity (19 GW), 9,390 MW, is retired by 2040 in this study.