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Costs of Atmospheric Fluidized-Bed Combustors for Electric Power Generation

Frederick C. Scherr and Jack A. Fuller

Year: 2002
Volume: Volume23
Number: Number 1
DOI: 10.5547/ISSN0195-6574-EJ-Vol23-No1-6
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Abstract:
Atmospheric fluidized-bed combustion (AFBC) is the prevalent technology in boiler design for new power plants. Using plant-level cost data from a sample of commercial AFBC powerplants, we examine the effects of fuel type (scrap coal or standard-grade coal), plant size, and plant completion date on fuel costs, operating costs, capital costs, and levelized total costs per unit of electrical output. We find important relationships between the type of fuel used and unit-output fuel costs (AFBC plants burning scrap are cheaper in fuel per unit of output, despite the lower heat content of scrap) and between operating costs and plant size (larger AFBC plants are cheaper to run). While we find that the advantage in unit fuel costs is not reflected in levelized total costs (which are affected only by plant size), this result may be caused by our procedure for calculating levelized total costs from component costs.



Measuring Gains from Regional Dispatch: Coal-Fired Power Plant Utilization and Market Reforms

Stratford Douglas

Year: 2006
Volume: Volume 27
Number: Number 1
DOI: 10.5547/ISSN0195-6574-EJ-Vol27-No1-7
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Abstract:
This paper examines changes in the utilization rates (annual capacity factors) of coal-burning power plants in the eastern United States after 1996, when federal regulators opened the transmission system to wholesale power markets. This and other accompanying market-oriented reforms were intended to improve efficiency by encouraging regional dispatch by independent system operators. If the reforms made dispatch more efficient, then utilization rates of high-cost plants should have fallen relative to those of low-cost plants since 1996. A difference-in-difference model using plant-level panel data indicates that relative utilization rates of high-cost plants did indeed fall after 1996, but only in regions with independent system operators. Simulations indicate cost savings on the order of two to three percent.





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