Increased renewable generation on the grid along with market deregulation has resulted in a significant increase in the cycling of coal and gas-fired power plant. This increase in cycling will result in increased wear-and-tear costs for units that were not traditionally designed for cycling. Asset owners can make operational changes to mitigate the wear-and-tear impact or alternatively retrofit existing units for improved flexibility. With retrofits, these plants can provide increased operational flexibility, or in other words cycle more, but this comes at an initial cost. On the other hand, increased flexibility in terms of faster starts, better turndowns and ramp rates also provides opportunity for the asset owners to recover their costs in the market. This paper evaluates the operational, as well as cost-benefit of retrofitting power plants for flexibility using a portfolio of generation resources in North America.

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