The U.S. Department of Energy and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) are commencing the Western Wind Integration Study which will examine the operating impacts and mitigation options due to the variability and uncertainty of wind and solar power on the utility grids for several states in the west. This is the largest regional wind integration study undertaken to date. The study will address issues such as:
- Is it more cost-effective for Arizona to use in-state wind resources or import better class resources from out-of-state?
- What are benefits of geographical diversity of wind and solar resources, e.g., for long-distance transmission of wind from Wyoming, Colorado and New Mexico to serve Las Vegas?
- What are the benefits of balancing area cooperation to manage variability?
- What is the role and value of wind and solar forecasting?
- How do wind and solar contribute to reliability and capacity value?
- How can hydro help with wind and solar integration?
This study will investigate significant penetrations of wind and solar on the grid, in line with the Western Governor’s Clean and Diversified Energy Initiative of 30 GW clean energy by 2015 and the President’s Advanced Energy Initiative that says wind can supply up to 20% of US electricity consumption.
Western Wind Solar Integration Study - July 30, 2009