Wind energy and power system operations
Wind energy and power system operations: A review of wind integration studies to date
To address these concerns, several utilities have conducted studies on whether wind power
can be integrated into the electric grid, and in some cases at what cost. From 2003 through
2008, over a dozen integration studies were conducted across the US Moreover, the US
Wind energy continues to be the fastest growing energy resource in the world. The U.S. wind industry installed 8,358 MW of new wind capacity in 2008, raising total U.S. wind capacity to just over 25,000 MW.
Wind power’s rapid expansion has been driven by a combination of its environmental benefits, various state and federal policies and incentives, and improving cost-competitiveness with other traditional generation technologies. Certain natural characteristics of wind present challenges to power-system planners and operators. Wind plants operate when the wind blows, with power levels varying with the strength of the wind. Because of these characteristics, wind plants are not dispatchable in the traditional sense. As a result, the ability of system operators to control these plants while simultaneously maintaining the system’s balance between load and generation is impaired.
To address these concerns, several different utilities have conducted studies on whether wind power can be integrated into the electric grid, and in some cases, at what cost. From 2003 through 2008, over a dozen integration studies were conducted across the United States. Moreover, the U.S. Department of Energy concluded that the United States can accommodate 20% energy from wind generation by 2030 without the need for storage, assuming continued advances in transmission planning and grid operations