A low-carbon world needs a replacement for natural gas-fired power to provide variable heat and electricity. The coupling of simple or combined cycle gas turbines (CCGTs) with advanced electrically-heated thermal energy storage (E-TES) systems is an alternative approach to energy storage with cost advantages over batteries or hydrogen production. CCGTs with E-TES may use stored low-value electricity to run the power cycle in place of fossil fuels. This (1) saves money for the power plants by allowing them to switch heat sources based on price, and (2) reduces carbon emissions by making use of otherwise curtailed renewable energy. The development of electrically conductive firebricks enables temperatures approaching 2000°C, hotter than existing E-TES options, sufficient to run CCGTs. Levelized cost of storage (LCOS) calculations show that the use of CCGTs with novel E-TES increases the cost of energy by less than a factor of 2, compared to a factor of 9 increase when using lithium-ion batteries. Unlike batteries, the CCGT with E-TES, provides assured generating capacity by normal operation of the gas turbine. A case study of CCGT coupled with E-TES is included based on 2019 electricity prices in Southern California, which showed an 18% reduction in fuel consumption and $11M savings based purely on the arbitrage case. The arbitrage case is expected to improve dramatically over the decade as deployment of renewable energy in California increases.

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