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Wind integration best practices report underscores industry experience, knowledge

Wind integration best practices report underscores industry experience, knowledge

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.

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Carl has been a part of the AWEA team since 2006. He brings both his expertise in communications as well as experience with the evolving wind energy industry to the job of overseeing AWEA's online and written publications including the Wind Energy Weekly, WINDPOWER Update, WINDPOWER Today, and various print materials. He has worked as a journalist in the energy industry as a staff writer for Public Utilities Fortnightly magazine and in the association sector as senior editor at Association Management magazine. He also has covered the home-building industry, where his areas of greatest interest were sustainable development and "smart growth," and has written articles for numerous other publications as a freelance writer. Carl received his B.A. from James Madison University and spent some time in New Orleans employed as a teacher as well as working with homeless youth.

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