Combined heat and power (CHP) plants are efficient regarding fuel, costs, and emissions compared to the separate generation of heat and electricity. Sinking revenues from sales of electricity due to sinking market prices endanger the economically viable operation of the plants. The integration of heat pumps (HP) and thermal energy storages (TESs) represents an option to increase the flexibility of CHP plants so that electricity can be produced only when the market conditions are favorable. The investigated district heating system is located in Germany, where the electricity market is influenced by a high share of renewable energies. The price-based unit-commitment and dispatch problem is modeled as a mixed integer linear program (MILP) with a temporal resolution of 1 h and a planning horizon of 1 yr. This paper presents the optimal operation of a TES unit and a HP in combination with CHP plants as well as synergies or competitions between them. Coal and gas-fired CHP plants with back pressure or extraction condensing steam turbines (STs) are considered, and their results are compared to each other.

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