BPA, Calpine Pilot Project Aims To Balance Wind’s Variability With Natural Gas

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Calpine Corp. has entered into an agreement with the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) for a pilot project to provide up to 75 MW of generation flexibility from its natural-gas-fired Hermiston Power Project.

When wind generators produce more electricity than forecasted, BPA can request that Calpine quickly reduce Hermiston's output to accommodate the renewable wind power. Calpine will then buy the excess power on BPA's system to fulfill its existing obligations to customers served by Hermiston.

‘The federal hydro system has historically provided the vast majority of within-hour reserves for wind power in the Pacific Northwest,’ says Elliot Mainzer, executive vice president of corporate strategy for BPA. ‘But as the amount of wind power increases, BPA has been looking at other sources to help reduce the balancing burden on the federal hydro system. This pilot project fits very nicely into BPA's overall strategy of using non-federal power supplies to help support wind.’

SOURCE: Bonneville Power Administration

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