I don’t want to be accused of putting words in their mouth, so I’ll just use Idaho Power’s own. In fact, here’s an ad they recently published:
Stating the obvious … that the wind “blows one minute and not the next,” the ad goes on to explain that “integrating wind energy into the grid that brings power to our homes requires facilities that can quickly adjust to moment-to-moment fluctuations in wind activities.” The problem, according to Idaho Power (and many others, in fact) is that “unfortunately, traditional generating plants … are not suited to the task. Integrating all of this variable capacity also undermines the time-tested, science- and technology-driven, 20 -year look-forward plan that is required of all utilities. And that just isn’t right.”
Wow! … seems to me that Idaho Power might want to revisit their original assessment of wind integration. Wait … they are??? “Idaho Power is revisiting its study of wind integration in 2011.”
Well, I’ll be darned. Idaho Power notes that “installed wind generation capacity continues to expand in the Pacific Northwest, including Idaho. This expansion is accompanied by continuing concerns over the impacts and costs of integrating production from wind generators …”
So Idaho Power states that “the objective of this study is to assess the costs incurred in modifying operations of dispatchable generating resources in order to allow them to respond to the variable and uncertain energy supplied by wind generators such that the reliable delivery of electrical power to customers is unaffected.”
I’m anxious to see the results from this task, which is included as an agenda item in the study:
Task 3 –Determine operational violation status for base case
Parameters to be evaluated:
- Unserved energy
Seems Idaho Power is looking at the possibility of assessing penalties ($$$) if these items become an issue.
Anyway, Idaho Power provides a couple of links describing the 2011 Wind Study which you might find interesting:
- Public Workshop Presentation (PDF), March 16, 2011
- Wind Integration Analysis (PDF), PLEXOS Solutions LLC, March 16, 2011
- They also recommend you review their initial wind study report from February 2007.
Of course, this is all playing out just as the Bonneville Power Administration issued a policy Friday saying it will order wind power producers to shut down generation, due to greatly increased output from its hydro facilities.
We will, of course, keep an eye out for the results from the study and report them when published. But, in the meantime, Idaho Power has an interesting site they’d like you to visit – getpluggedin. I highly recommend you do so. They are asking for your comments.
As we’ve said here at AT many times before, “The greatest threat to the wind industry’s growth is, in fact, the wind industry’s growth.”
AT Note: Thanks to Glenn Schleede for pointing us to the Idaho Power advertisement.