Report Outlines Reliable Integration Of Renewables Into Grid


Reliably integrating larger amounts of wind, solar and other variable generation into the bulk power system will require changes to the way the system is planned and operated, says the North American Electric Reliability Corp. (NERC) in the report, ‘Accommodating High Levels of Variable Generation.’

The report highlights transmission additions and reinforcements, better forecasting of variable generation output and access to flexible grid resources (including customer participation in targeted demand management, plug-in hybrid electric vehicles and large-scale electricity storage) as key contributors to reliably integrating variable resources into the system.

The report comes as a significant amount of wind generation is proposed to be added to the North American bulk power system in the coming decade. This pioneering effort identifies and prioritizes a number of areas of work that will be needed to maintain bulk power system reliability as these and other variable resources are added to the grid.

A number of these assignments take the shape of additional study on technical issues, including power flow and stability modeling, consistent and accurate calculation and forecasting of variable resource availability, and advancing proposed upgrades to the transmission grid across North America. Other work includes evaluating existing NERC reliability standards in light of new system requirements and developing new tools needed to improve system operator awareness of and communication with variable resources.

Some of the report's specific recommendations include the following:

– The integration of high levels of variable generation will require system planners to change planning practices, procedures, methods and tools to ensure reliability in the coming years;

– Ensuring the efficient, effective and reliable use of variable resources will require a number of changes in system operations centers, including incorporating consistent and accurate forecasting of daily and seasonal variable generation output and advanced control techniques into daily and real-time practices;

– A renewed focus on research and development for new system models, continued improvement of variable generation technologies and advanced planning techniques is needed; and

– The report encourages policy-makers to accelerate transmission siting, approve permits for needed facilities and otherwise remove barriers to needed transmission development.

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SOURCE: North American Electric Reliability Corp.

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