System-Level Value of a Gas Engine Power Plant in Electricity and Reserve Production

Antti Alahäivälä, Juha Kiviluoma, Jyrki Leino, Matti Lehtonen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Power systems require a certain amount of flexibility to meet varying demand and to be able to cope with unexpected events, and this requirement is expected to increase with the emergence of variable power generation. In this paper, we focus on gas engine power plant technology and the beneficial influence its flexible operation can have on a power system. The study introduces the concept of a combined-cycle gas engine power plant (CCGE), which comprises a combination of several gas-fired combustion engines and a steam turbine. The operation of CCGE is then comprehensively analyzed in electricity and reserve production in the South African power system and compared with combined-cycle gas turbine (CCGT) technology. Even though CCGE is a form of technology that has already been commercialized, it is rarely considered as a source of flexibility in the academic research. That is the notion providing the motivation for this study. Our core contribution is to show that the flexibility of CCGE can be valuable in power systems. The methodology is based on the unit-level model of the studied system and the solving of a day-ahead unit commitment problem for each day of the simulated 11-year period. The simulation studies reveal how a CCGE is able to offer system flexibility to follow hourly load variations and capacity to provide reserve power effectively.
Original languageEnglish
Article number983
Number of pages13
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2017
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • gas engine power plant
  • combined cycle gas turbine
  • flexibility
  • power system simulation


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