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Eastern Renewable Generation Integration Study

The Eastern Renewable Generation Integration Study is a follow-on study to the Eastern Wind Integration and Transmission Study, the Western Wind and Solar Integration Study Phase 1, and other analyses. These studies showed that the variability and uncertainty of wind and solar power at high penetration levels require new ways of planning and operating electric power systems. However, new questions are being posed about future regulatory, market, and environmental policies; the siting and timing of new nonrenewable generation and transmission; and even load profiles with embedded and distributed generation. The Eastern Renewable Generation Integration Study will address these follow-up questions and place additional emphasis on the question of how to plan and operate the Eastern Interconnection in the face of generation and transmission uncertainty.

One way to bound this uncertainty in the analytical environment is to evaluate more than one possible future scenario. Another way is to test system robustness with a sensitivity analysis to key input parameters. This study will do both.

The Eastern Renewable Generation Integration Study will evaluate the ability of greater inter-regional cooperation, geographic diversity, and subhourly scheduling to provide operational flexibility; identify the need for mitigation strategies at high levels of penetration; develop and test reserve strategies to accommodate ramping requirements; explore the impact of key assumptions on analytical results; and provide more detailed analysis of results.

Both statistical analysis and grid operation simulations with an Eastern Interconnection transmission system model will be performed.

Eastern Wind Integration and Transmission Study

NREL researchers initiated the Eastern Wind Integration and Transmission Study to examine the operational impact of 20%–30% wind energy penetration on the power system of the Eastern Interconnect of the United States. This study was a response to questions about wind energy and transmission development posed by utilities, regional transmission operators, and planning organizations.

Map of the eastern United States that shows the territories of Midwest Independent Transmission System Operator and Mid-Atlantic Power Pathway (North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin, Michigan, and parts of Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio), Southwest Power Pool (Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma and parts of Missouri, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Texas), Entergy (parts of Arkansas, Louisiana, and Mississippi), Tennessee Valley Authority (Tennessee and parts of Missouri, Kentucky, Mississippi, Georgia, Alabama, and North Carolina), SERC Reliability Corp. (South Carolina and parts of North Carolina, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, and Mississippi), PJM Interconnection (Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, and parts of North Carolina, Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, and Illinois), New York Independent System Operator (New York), and ISO New England (Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island.Enlarge image

The Eastern Wind Integration and Transmission Study covered a region that includes the territories of the Midwest Independent Transmission System Operator and Mid-Atlantic Power Pathway, Southwest Power Pool, Entergy, Tennessee Valley Authority, SERC Reliability Corp., PJM Interconnection, New York Independent System Operator, and ISO New England. View a larger version of the map.

The Eastern Wind Integration and Transmission Study addressed these questions:

  • How do local wind resources compare with higher capacity-factor wind power that requires more transmission?
  • How does geographic diversity of wind reduce wind integration costs?
  • How do offshore and onshore wind power compare?
  • What transmission is needed to facilitate higher penetrations of wind power?
  • What is the role and value of wind forecasting?
  • How are wind integration costs spread over large market footprints and regions?
  • What additional operating reserves are needed for large wind power deployments?

A key task of the Eastern Wind Integration and Transmission Study was the development of a dataset of three years of modeled time series of wind speed and power output that was used to model the impacts of wind energy.

Other activities included:

  • Wind Resource Modeling
    • Identifying wind power generation sites
    • Developing wind power plant outputs
  • Transmission Analysis
    • Developing conceptual transmission overlays
    • Analyzing conceptual transmission overlays for different wind scenarios
  • Integration Analysis
    • Evaluating operating and reliability impacts of 20% and 30% wind penetration
    • Calculating costs and identifying issues for 20% and 30% wind penetration
    • Identifying how other generation sources are affected.

A technical review committee composed of regional and national experts on wind generation and power systems analysis guided and reviewed the study by providing feedback on key assumptions, methodology, and preliminary results.

The Eastern Wind Integration and Transmission Study was completed in 2010.

For More Information

For more information about the Eastern Renewable Generation Integration Study and the Eastern Wind Integration and Transmission Study, see the following resources. Additional publications can be found in the NREL Publications Database.

Contact

Aaron Bloom
720-402-2065