Project Development, Utility Integration, Wind Power

Wind Power Threshold Studied for New York State

The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) has released the final draft of a technical study on integrating wind energy into the New York grid, which concludes that a 10 percent penetration level of wind can be accommodated without major changes in the planning, operations, or reliability of the state’s bulk power system, according to the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA).

This study is particularly timely since New York recently passed renewable portfolio standar legislation requiring the state’s utilities to source a certain percentage of their power from renewable energy sources like wind, solar, biomass and others. Concern is sometimes raised when an increasing amount of an intermittent resource such as wind power is added to the electrical grid. This study appears to assuage such concerns in New York. “This technical analysis lays to rest any concerns about integrating substantial amounts of wind energy into the New York grid, and finds that more wind power will in some cases improve reliability,” said (AWEA) Acting Policy Director Michael Jacobs. “The technical findings will also be very useful to other regions that are adding wind to their systems, even with regional differences.” In particular, the study particularly found that an incremental increase of 10 percent wind power can be accommodated by existing processes and resource in NY state, whether this is in the minutes, hours, days, or years management time frame. The study also found that even without forecasts, wind energy displaces conventional generation, reduces system operating costs, and reduces emissions and that no change to spinning reserve requirements would be needed. Lastly, the study found that today’s advanced, state of the art wind turbines improve post-fault response of the interconnected power grid. The study focuses on a wind generation scenario of 3,300 MW, corresponding to approximately 10 percent of New York State’s 2008 projected peak load. The state’s Renewables Portfolio Standard is expected to result in about the estimated 3,700 MW of new renewable generation by 2013. This final draft builds on a preliminary assessment released in early 2004, which also indicated that large-scale wind generation should not cause significant adverse impacts. AWEA said they plan to file technical comments on certain sections of the study. NYSERDA requested the study from GE Energy Consulting because of this consulting company’s widely recognized expertise on grid integration issues for all technologies. Albany-based AWS Truewind, a significant support contractor, supplied wind resource, wind plant production and forecasting data to GE. The study is available on NYSERDA’s web site at the following link.