A report, prepared for Mid-Atlantic grid operator PJM Interconnection LLC, that examines best practices from around the country for integrating wind and solar power—and in the process underscores the field’s growth—is now available.
The report, titled “Review of Industry Practice and Experience in the Integration of Wind and Solar Generation,” was prepared by Columbia, Md.-based Exeter Associates as part of a broader large-wind and solar integration study that GE is behind. That study, due out in 2013, is examining a number of scenarios for various levels and combinations of penetrations of various technologies including solar and land-based and offshore wind.
The Exeter report, meanwhile, provides PJM with a comprehensive look at the best approaches for integrating wind and solar power, based on an examination of operations and processes being implemented around the country and the world. The report covers energy scheduling, imbalances, reserves, contingency reserves, wind and solar forecasting, active power management and determining the capacity value of variable generation.
Through the years a long list of studies have accumulated showing that large amounts of wind power can be reliably integrated, and now a base of real-world experience is turning such assessments into reality. Countries such as Spain and Denmark, which crossed the 20 percent wind threshold several years ago, have high wind penetrations and, even in the U.S., individual states have achieved such numbers, led by Iowa (nearly 19 percent as of the end of 2011) and South Dakota (22 percent). In addition to examining practices being used by U.S. grid operators, the report looks at operational and regulatory practices (e.g., wind forecasting, scheduling, and so forth) in top wind power-penetration countries including Denmark and Spain as well.
Beyond the report’s granularity and technicality, a bigger-picture angle can be seen via its completion and results, observed author Kevin Porter, senior analyst at Exeter Associates. The report, he noted, underscores how the industry by now has amassed a significant amount of real-world wind integration knowledge, data, and experience, allowing for such reports to be produced.
“That’s pretty neat,” said Porter, speaking to Wind Energy Weekly. “We actually have some ideas of what will work and how to do it.”
The report is available on PJM’s website.