Influence of Intermittent RES on Open Pit Mining Processes – Analysis and Optimization

Cooperation and Funding: Utility Company

Lignite power plants used to be base load plants. This enabled constant lignite extraction in the mine as well as in coal transportation between mine and power plant. However, an increasing production of electricity from intermittent renewable energy sources decreases utilization of all thermal power plants. This effect can be observed both on a national as well as on a regional level, where grid restrictions within Germany have to be taken into account. The project analyses how much flexibility exists in lignite extraction processes, as well as in transportation between mine and power station and storage at the power station. In cooperation with the utility, we identified relevant factors, quantified flexibility potentials and suggested improvements to increase flexibility further.