Adding photovoltaics to the Saudi power system: What are the costs of intermittency?

Intermittent generation from wind or photovoltaics (PV) imposes a cost on the power systems in which they are deployed. These costs vary regionally due to different fuel costs and ramping flexibility of existing grid capacities. With 2015 as a reference year, this paper examine the costs of PV intermittency and costs of integration to power utilities in Saudi Arabia, using a least-cost approach for the power utilities. The operational facets of PV integration to grid operators will be more pronounced with higher PV penetration, so, to focus on system operation, we exclude the capital costs. The excess of the price paid to new PV generators over the current average consumer tariff would also have to be covered by the utility, and will depend on the details of the power purchase contracts.