Portland, Ore.-based Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) reports that, for the first time, the amount of wind power being delivered to customers via its transmission lines has exceeded 1,000 MW.
‘Within just a few years, we've seen more wind projects come online, and BPA has been working quickly to connect the new projects into the regional power grid,’ says Brian Silverstein, BPA's vice president of planning and asset management. ‘States are calling for adding more clean, renewable sources of energy to the region's power supply and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. This is clear evidence that power providers are responding and taking action to address the region's changing needs.’
Three states that include many of the utilities served by BPA – Washington, Oregon and Montana – have enacted legislation requiring utilities to phase in additional renewable energy sources over time. The Northwest Power and Conservation Council's Fifth Northwest Power Plan anticipates wind power will play a major role in meeting the region's future demand for electricity. The plan foresees the development of up to 5,000 MW of new wind power over its 20-year planning period. To date, BPA has connected 13 wind projects into the region's transmission grid.
According to BPA, the agency is working with utilities and other stakeholders in the region to develop approaches to effectively manage the variability of wind power to meet consumer demand.