From the executive summary: "This study examines the impact of concentrating solar power (CSP) on grid reliability by investigating the dynamic behavior of the Western Interconnection under conditions of high solar and wind generation. 'Reliability' in this case refers to the somewhat narrow context of stability: transient stability and frequency response; and control stability, especially that associated with weak grids. The objectives of this study were to identify renewable energy penetration levels and mixes, severe disturbances, and load conditions where grid performance and reliability could be enhanced with CSP plants. Instantaneous penetrations of wind and solar--both photovoltaics (PV) and CSP--up to approximately 60% were considered. The focus is on situations in the Western Interconnection bulk power system during which variable renewable generation has displaced other (non-CSP) synchronous thermal generation under highly stressed, weak system conditions. Particular attention was given to impacts of frequency-responsive controls and synchronous generation characteristics. This is relatively new ground for the industry, and this investigation is not a substitute for detailed planning, but the risks illustrated can be analyzed and mitigated. Tools, data, and the current state-of-the-art interconnection and bulk power system stability studies, if used following good system engineering practices as systems are built out, will ensure continued reliability of power systems."
NREL/TP-5D00-70781; National Renewable Energy Laboratory/TP-5D00-70781
National Renewable Energy Laboratory: https://www.nrel.gov/