In early August, Portland, Ore.-based Bonneville Power Administration's (BPA) transmission grid reached a milestone, carrying more than 2,000 MW of wind power for more than an hour. On Aug. 6 at 6:19 p.m., total wind generation on BPA's system reached 2,089 MW. This doubles the peak of 1,000 MW recorded in January 2008.
To put that in context, wind turbines in eastern Oregon and Washington produced enough electricity to light all of Seattle and Portland for that hour.
‘Two years ago, we thought we might see 6,000 MW of wind power in the Northwest by 2023,’ says BPA Administrator Steve Wright. ‘We now expect to see more than 6,000 MW of wind power in the BPA grid alone in the next five years.’
Of the 22 wind farms that contributed to this record, six have come online this year. Most of the wind power in the Northwest, although largely owned by private developers, is connected to BPA's transmission grid, primarily east of the Columbia River Gorge. BPA has built five substations and six taplines to tie wind farms into its transmission grid, with more in progress. BPA also has just begun constructing the first of 14 new meteorological stations that will facilitate wind forecasting.
In addition, BPA is instituting new operational procedures and developing new technologies to deal with the variability of wind on the system.
SOURCE: Bonneville Power Administration