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[cdn-nucl-l] Project to gauge how much wind energy system can handle
Posted in the Toronto Star on June 22, 2006 and at:
Results of the Phase 1 study in New York, also performed by GE Energy, found
that "up to 3300 MW of wind power could be absorbed without significant
adverse impacts on the planning, operations and reliability of
the bulk power system, provided that appropriate wind farm requirements and
operation practices are adopted when needed." (page 3 of
Note that 3300 MW represents ~9% of the total NY power grid capacity in
2004, ~36,000 MW (http://currentenergy.lbl.gov/ny/index.php).
Ontario studies wind-power impact
Project to gauge how much wind energy system can handle
GE to measure grid's ability to accommodate `variability'
Jun. 22, 2006. 01:00 AM
Ontario's power authority has hired GE Energy Inc. to find out how much wind
power the electricity system can reliably handle as the government looks to
dramatically expand the supply of renewable energy in the province.
"The ultimate goal of the study is to determine the maximum amount of wind
power that could be added to the Ontario bulk power system with minimal
impact on system operation," GE Energy said in a statement.
The province's Independent Electricity System Operator and the Canadian Wind
Energy Association are co-sponsoring the study, which will be used by the
Ontario Power Authority as it develops its Integrated Power System plan for
the provincial government.
That plan, expected to be complete by next spring, will address the need for
province-wide transmission upgrades and build on top of the government's
20-year power "supply mix" announcement last week.
Energy Minister Dwight Duncan has called for a doubling of electricity that
comes from renewable sources to 15,700 megawatts by 2025.
A lion's share is expected to come from wind.
"Experience in other jurisdictions shows that large amounts of wind can have
impacts on the whole system, primarily the transmission system, largely
caused by fluctuations in wind. That has impact on the integrity of the
system," said Tim Taylor, spokesperson for the power authority.
GE has conducted such studies before, first for New York State followed by a
study still underway in California that was announced back in May.
In the case of Ontario, GE said it will look at the operational impact of
having wind represent up to 35 per cent of the province's power system.
Various geographies across Ontario will be analyzed, with specific attention
to the variability of wind resources in those areas.
Paul Murphy, chief operating officer of the independent system operator,
said the starting point for GE Energy will be the 1,300 megawatts of wind
that is already scheduled to come online by 2008, including 200 megawatts
put into service this spring.
"Wind has some great characteristics," said Murphy.
"The fuel is free, clean and renewable. The windmills can be built
relatively quickly. But wind is variable and can't be dispatched like other
forms of generation."
He pointed out that last Friday the province's 200 megawatts of installed
wind turbines collectively produced as little as 12 megawatts and as much as
165 megawatts during two points in the day. To compensate for the lulls,
hydroelectric, coal- or gas-fired generators must be ramped up.
"One of the things we are again fortunate to have in Ontario is we have a
fair amount of hydroelectric capability that is quite flexible, which
offsets some of the variability you can have with wind power," said Murphy.
The power authority said it expects the study to be complete by the end of