The present study presents a techno-economic analysis of a novel power plant layout developed to increase the dispatch flexibility of a Combined Cycle Gas Turbine (CCGT) coupled to a District Heating Network (DHN). The layout includes the incorporation of high temperature heat pumps (HP) and thermal energy storage (TES). A model for optimizing the short-term dispatch strategy of such system has been developed to maximize its operational profit. The constraints and boundary conditions considered in the study include hourly demand and price of electricity and heat, ambient conditions and CO2 emission allowances. To assess the techno-economic benefit of the new layout, a year of operation was simulated for a power plant in Turin, Italy. Furthermore, different layout configurations and critical size-related parameters were considered. Finally, a sensitivity analysis was made to assess the performance under different market scenarios.

The results show that it is indeed beneficial, under the assumed market conditions, to integrate a HP in a CCGT plant coupled to a DHN, and that it remains profitable to do so under a variety of market scenarios. The best results for the assumed market conditions were found when integrating a 15 MWth capacity HP in the 400 MWel CCGT-CHP. For this case study, the investment in the HP would yield a net present value (NPV) of 1.22 M€ and an internal rate of return (IRR) of 3.04% for a lifetime of 20 years. An increase was shown also in operational flexibility with 0.14% of the electricity production shifted while meeting the same heating demand. Additionally, it was found that the TES makes the system even more flexible, but does not make up for the extra investment.

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