DOE Wind Report

New DOE Report Shows No Technical Barriers To 20 Percent Wind Integration

Written by Brian Hicks
Posted January 19, 2010 at 7:00PM


The U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory has just released its latest study on the technical, operational and economic issues facing the integration of increased wind energy.

According to the report . .

  • There are no fundamental technical barriers to the integration of 20% wind energy into the electrical system, but transmission planning and system operation policy and market development need to continue to evolve in order for these penetration levels to be achieved;

  • Without transmission enhancements, substantial curtailment of wind generation would be required for all of the 20% wind penetration scenarios;

  • Interconnection-wide costs for integrating large amounts of wind generation are manageable with large regional operating pools, because increasing the geographic diversity of wind power projects in a given operating pool generally makes the aggregated wind power output more predicable and less variable, while also reducing the variation in load and increasing the number of generation assets that can be committed and dispatched;

  • Although the costs of aggressive expansion of the existing grid are significant, they make up a relatively small piece of the total annual power system costs in any of the scenarios studied;

  • Wind generation displaces carbon-based fuels, directly reducing carbon dioxide emissions. Emissions continue to decline as more wind generation is added to the energy supply; and

  • Reduced expenditures on fossil fuel costs more than pay for the increased costs of transmission in all wind scenarios.

The newly published report consists of wind resource assessments, transmission studies and wind integration studies.

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