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AWEA welcomes findings of NERC integration study

Apr 16, 2009 - Energy Central

The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) is pleased with the findings of the North American Electric Reliability Corporation’s (NERC’s) Integrating Variable Generation Task Force (IVGTF) report. This is an excellent roadmap for the grid planning and operations changes needed for America’s future electric generation portfolio.

AWEA CEO Denise Bode issued the following statement:

“The task force recommendations open the way to upgrading grid planning and operations in ways that will make our aging electric utility system more efficient and reliable while saving consumers money. As we’ve heard before, these reforms are needed to maintain system reliability and they can be implemented in ways that allow a growing portion of our electricity supply to come from clean, modern energy resources like wind, which made up 42% of all new capacity added to the grid last year.

NERC confirms that these reforms are not unlike changes made more than a generation ago to integrate large nuclear plants into the grid. Using today’s technology to reliably integrate clean, renewable energy resources into the utility system will benefit today’s consumers as well as future generations of Americans.”

Among the major findings of the NERC report:

- Wind plants are already an important contributor to grid reliability, with their performance capabilities now equal to or exceeding those of conventional power plants.

- The policies that govern how transmission lines are planned, paid for, and permitted need to be updated so that transmission can be built to connect new wind projects.

- Using today’s technology, grid operators already accommodate constant variability in electricity demand and in the output from conventional power plants, and can deal with renewable energy variability in similar ways.

Among the recommended reforms:

- The consolidation or enhanced cooperation of small, balkanized grid operating regions to form larger operating areas can offer significant reliability and economic benefits, and should be further explored.

- The use of wind forecasting should be expanded, and forecasting should be better integrated into power system operations.

- Power plant scheduling and dispatch should be conducted for shorter intervals than is commonly done today (i.e. 5- or 10-minute instead of hourly), which will greatly enhance the flexibility of the grid.

- The flexibility of the grid can also be increased by adding new types of generation and demand response resources, and by creating markets to incentive this flexibility.


AWEA is the national trade association of America’s wind industry, with more than 1,900 member companies, including global leaders in wind power and energy development, wind turbine manufacturing, component and service suppliers, and the world’s largest wind power trade show. AWEA is the voice of wind energy in the U.S., promoting renewable energy to power a cleaner, stronger America. Look up information on wind energy at the AWEA Web site. Find insight on industry issues at AWEA’s blog Into the Wind. Join AWEA on Facebook. Follow AWEA on Twitter.