NREL works with electric utilities, energy policymakers, and other industry partners to integrate large-scale renewable energy into the transmission system. Researchers study transmission and grid integration issues and provide data, analysis, and models to enable the electric power system to more efficiently manage the variability of renewables such as solar and wind power.
Wind and solar energy offer environmental benefits, low operating costs, and reduced dependence on foreign fuel. However, wind and solar generation vary with wind speed and solar insolation. This variability affects how transmission systems with high penetrations of renewable energy sources operate. NREL researchers are identifying these effects and finding solutions to address them to enable transmission grid integration.
NREL's transmission and grid integration research staff work to incorporate renewable energy into the transmission system primarily through NREL's Power Systems Engineering Center.