recently released SPP WITF Wind Integration Study, conducted by Charles River
Associates (CRA) on behalf of the Southwest Power Pool, Inc. (SPP) Wind Integration
Task Force (WITF), found that enhanced electricity reserves and major transmission
reinforcements are needed to integrate higher levels of wind generation into the
SPP transmission system and energy markets. If the needed transmission upgrades
were completed, there would be no significant technical barriers or reliability
impacts to integrating wind energy levels up to 20%. Currently, approximately
4% of the region’s electricity is generated by wind.
According to SPP Vice
President of Engineering Bruce Rew, “The study reinforced the criticality of coordinating
transmission expansion plans with plans for building infrastructure to generate
wind energy. Recommendations made in the study will allow SPP to prepare for continued
growth in our region’s renewable wind resources.”
The study examined three
wind penetration levels and compared each to current system conditions. Detailed
analysis was completed on 10% and 20% wind levels by annual energy; limited analysis
was completed on a 40% case. SPP wind generation resources are primarily located
in the western part of the region, typically in sparsely-populated locations with
little transmission and electricity demand.
The study found that an increase
in the wind penetration level causes changes in power flow patterns – particularly
increased flow from the western to the eastern part of the region – requiring
upgrades and/or reconfigurations to the transmission system. To accommodate the
increased west-to-east flows while meeting SPP’s electric reliability standards:
- For the 10% case, new transmission lines totaling 1,260 miles of 345
kV and 40 miles of 230 kV lines are needed.
- For the 20% case, an additional
485 miles of 765 kV, 766 miles of 345 kV, 205 miles of 230 kV, and 25 miles of
115 kV lines are needed.
These findings are consistent with CRA’s 2008
analysis of SPP’s Extra High Voltage Overlay plans.
Other significant study
findings, assuming all needed transmission upgrades and an SPP Day-Ahead market
are in place:
- Integrating the levels of wind studied in the 10% and 20%
cases could be attained without adversely impacting SPP system reliability.
Wind integration would be greatly facilitated by the creation of an SPP consolidated
balancing authority, in which SPP would balance electricity supply and demand
for the entire region. While a consolidated balancing authority should reduce
overall needs for electric reserves and flexible resources, greater operational
flexibility would be required to quickly respond to injections of wind to the
grid. As wind generation increases or decreases, other sources of generation must
quickly ramp up or back down to keep an uninterrupted power flow.
wind integration requires a sophisticated process for determining what generating
units are utilized throughout the region, explicitly addressing the uncertainty
associated with wind forecast errors. The implementation of a centralized forecasting
system would be advantageous.
The study further identified the impact of
wind penetration on the scope and level of required reserve energy and generation
patterns. Based on the engineering analysis and a review of international best
practices of wind integration, the study includes specific policy and market design
recommendations essential for the successful integration of higher levels of wind
resources into the SPP footprint.
"In recent years, Charles River Associates
has studied and analyzed the implications of a variety of energy options within
SPP, and we are pleased to draw on our analytical insights and industry expertise
in this latest report," said Paul Maleh, Charles River Associates’ President and
Chief Executive Officer. "The study offers a comprehensive overview of the challenges
for integrating wind energy resources into SPP, and suggests a framework for establishing
a successful and efficient wind energy model."
The study was led by two
CRA consultants – Mr. Bruce Tsuchida and Dr. Pablo Ruiz. CRA Vice President Dr.
Aleksandr Rudkevich served as the Officer-in-Charge. The WITF findings were accepted
by the SPP Markets and Operations Policy Committee on January 12, 2010. SPP’s
Regional State Committee and Board of Directors will hear a WITF report later
this month. Study recommendations have been assigned to SPP working groups for
further consideration and development; the groups will report back on their progress
at the April 2010 Markets and Operations Policy Committee meeting.
Southwest Power Pool, Inc. is a group of 56 members in Arkansas, Kansas,
Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas that
serve more than five million customers. Membership is comprised of investor-owned
utilities, municipal systems, generation and transmission cooperatives, state
authorities, wholesale generators, power marketers, and independent transmission
companies. SPP's footprint includes 29 balancing authorities, 50,575 miles of
transmission lines, and 370,000 square miles of service territory. SPP was a founding
member of the North American Electric Reliability Corporation in 1968, and was
designated by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission as a Regional Transmission
Organization (RTO) in 2004 and a Regional Entity (RE) in 2007. As an RTO, SPP
ensures reliable supplies of power, adequate transmission infrastructure, and
competitive wholesale prices of electricity. The SPP RE oversees compliance enforcement
and reliability standards development. Read more fast facts or watch a video about
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