Sashwat Roy, doctoral student in the energy and environmental policy program, recently won the Best Publication Award from QESST, a national consortium of university groups that research solar energy funded by the National Science Foundation and Department of Energy. The research paper, "Assessing the Techno-Economics and Environmental Attributes of Utility-Scale PV with Battery Energy Storage Systems (PVS) Compared to Conventional Gas Peakers for Providing Firm Capacity in California" was published in MDPI Energies and authored by Sashwat Roy, Parikhit Sinha, and Syed Ismat Shah in collaboration with First Solar Inc.
The competition included seventy-seven contestants with seven finalists—each of which showed strong scientific rigor. Roy's paper stood out with a high potential to impact PV deployment. The research effectively extends the useful hours of solar in an economic sense through the introduction of a new metric, Target Period Capacity Factor (TPCF) , which quantifies the price of power capacity for a target timeframe.
Solar plant developers can use the TPCF metric to balance battery costs with needed peak solar capacity. The research also showed that photovoltaics with batteries can provide summertime power capacity within the peak demand period of 7:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m. for 8-10% less cost than conventional natural gas plants in a more sustainable way.
The paper can be accessed at https://www.mdpi.com/1996-1073/13/2/488