Wind Power

New Study on Integrating Wind into the Power Grid

How wind impacts the operating costs of the non-wind portion of a power system is the focus of a recently released assessment on integrating wind generation into utility power systems. The Utility Wind Integration Group (UWIG) introduced the document’s findings that design and operation are essential at the IEEE Power Engineering Society Transmission and Distribution Conference in Dallas.

“Utility Wind Integration State of the Art” summarizes the key points raised in a series of articles on wind integration that appeared in the IEEE Power Engineering Society’s Power & Energy Magazine last November/December. “This document is a summary of the best information available from around the world on what we currently know about integrating wind power plants into electric utility systems,” said Charlie Smith, UWIG’s executive director. “The consensus view is that wind power impacts can be managed with proper design and operation of the system. There is still a lot of work to be done to get the message across and get everyone up the learning curve, but we are well on the way.” “This summary was produced with the cooperation of the three utility industry associations representing nearly 100 percent of the utilities in the United States,” Smith said. These include the American Public Power Association (APPA), Edison Electric Institute (EEI), and National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA); the release states the assessment does not support or recommend any particular course of action or advocate any particular policy or position on the part of APPA, EEI, or NRECA. “The message is very positive; we don’t see any fundamental technical barriers at the present time to wind penetrations of up to 20 percent of system peak demand, which is far beyond where we are today,” added Smith. The Utility Wind Integration Group (UWIG) was established in 1989 to provide a forum for the critical analysis of wind technology for utility applications and to serve as a source of credible information on the status of wind technology and deployment. The group’s mission is to accelerate the appropriate integration of wind power for utility applications through the coordinated efforts and actions of its members, in collaboration with The U.S. Department of Energy, its National Renewable Energy Laboratory and utility research organizations.