- Published: 14 December 2006 14 December 2006
Results of a new study show that, under the right policies, utilities can incorporate wind power into their resource portfolio, comprising up to one-fourth of their delivered energy, without sacrificing reliability and with minor costs for absorbing the wind.
The Midwest Wind Integration Study, which was required by the Minnesota legislature in 2005 to evaluate reliability and other impacts of higher levels of wind generation and carried out independently by EnerNex Corporation and WindLogics, found that the total integration cost for up to 25 per cent wind energy delivered to all Minnesota customers is less than one-half cent (US$0.0045 cents) per kWh of wind generation.
The 25 per cent penetration level of wind is predicated on operating in the Midwest Independent System Operator (MISO) service area, control area consolidation (currently underway in MISO), geographic diversity of the wind power, and adequate transmission. The study scope included evaluation of reliability and costs associated with increasing wind capacity to 15%, 20% and 25% of Minnesota retail electric energy sales by 2020. The study process included a Technical Review Committee comprised of numerous stakeholders from both the private and public sector: Minnesota utilities subject to the Minnesota Renewable Energy Objective (10% by 2015), MISO, Midwest Reliability Organization/Mid-Continent Area Power Pool, Minnesota Department of Commerce, Minnesota Public Utilities Commission, Community-Based Energy Development, U.S. Department of Energy National Laboratories (Oak Ridge and National Renewable Energy Laboratory), Utility Wind Integration Group, and study contractors EnerNex and WindLogics. In particular, MISO was a key study participant that supplied power system data and technical expertise, as well as ran much of the system modeling.