Project Development, Utility Scale, Wind Power

Study to Help Utilities Use Wind Power

A study of the impact of wind generation on electricity generation may break new ground in how wind power can be integrated with real-time operations and short-term supply planning of current generation systems.

EDISON, New Jersey, US, 2001-08-15 [SolarAccess.com] A study of the impact of wind generation on electricity generation may break new ground in how wind power can be integrated with real-time operations and short-term supply planning of current generation systems. Electrotek Concepts will analyze the impacts of significant amounts of intermittent generation, such as windfarms, on the operations and planning of electric power systems. These functions are known as ancillary services, and are critical to reliable and economic operation of interconnected power systems and represent tangible costs to utilities. The project is being run by the non-profit Utility Wind Interest Group, which was formed to accelerate the integration of wind power for utility applications. The project is also receiving support from Xcel Energy, Electric Power Research Institute, American Public Power Association, National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, Western Area Power Administration, and Bonneville Power Administration. “Wind energy has the greatest opportunity of all renewables to make significant near-term impact on the nation’s energy supply,” says WPT president Joseph Gonzalez Rivas. The recent surge in wind development in the U.S. has given urgency to questions regarding ancillary services and operational impacts on the electricity industry. The 12-month investigation will quantify the impacts of large-scale wind facilities on power system regulation, supply/load balancing, and scheduling functions. Electrotek is conducting the analysis with case study data supplied by participating utilities. The analysis will use conventional utility analyses and software tools supplemented by models specifically developed for the project. It will use high-resolution performance data collected by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory from several large wind plants. The study is a significant foray into assessing the impact of wind on electric system operations, according to Electrotek president Charles Smith. The company has worked with the wind industry on feasibility studies, interconnection analysis, and technology assessments. Electrotek is currently monitoring the long-term output of several wind plants for NREL, and Smith says both studies will expand the body of knowledge on the characteristics and impacts of wind generation. The Utility Wind Interest Group was formed in 1989 to provide a forum for the critical analysis of wind technology for utility applications and to provide information on the status of wind technology and deployment. It operates in collaboration with NREL and the U.S. Department of Energy, with 53 members in 21 states.