The increasing share of fluctuating renewable energy sources leads to changing requirements for conventional power plants. The changing characteristics of the residual load requires the conventional fleet to operate with higher load gradients, lower minimum load at improved efficiency levels as well as faster start-ups and provision of ancillary services. Despite the requirements from the electricity market, the value of improving those flexibility parameters is hard to evaluate for power plant operators. In order to quantify the additional benefit that can be achieved by improving flexibility parameters on a certain power plant in a changing market environment, an adjustable load dispatch model has developed for that purpose. Using past electricity market data, the model is validated for typical coal and a typical gas fired power plants by reproducing their operational schedule. In the next step, the model is used to apply parameter changes to the power plants specifications and economic effects are demonstrated. General statements are derived on which flexibility parameter needs to be improved on each power plant type. Furthermore, specific economic evaluations are shown for the reference power plants in order to present the ability of the developed tool to support investment decisions for modernization projects of existing power plants.

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