Integrating wind output with bulk power operations and wholesale electricity markets


  • Eric Hirst

    Corresponding author
    1. Consulting in Electric-Industry Restructuring, 106 Capital Circle, Oak Ridge, TN 37830, USA
    • Consulting in Electric-Industry Restructuring, 106 Capital Circle, Oak Ridge, TN 37830, USA.
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Wind farms have three characteristics that complicate their widespread application as an electricity resource: limited control, unpredictability and variability. Therefore the integration of wind output into bulk power electric systems is qualitatively different from that of other types of generators. The electric system operator must move other generators up or down to offset the time-varying wind fluctuations. Such movements raise the costs of fuel and maintenance for these other generators. Not only is wind power different, it is new. The operators of bulk power systems have limited experience in integrating wind output into the larger system. As a consequence, market rules that treat wind fairly—neither subsidizing nor penalizing its operation—have not yet been developed. The lack of data and analytical methods encourages wind advocates and sceptics to rely primarily on their biases and beliefs in suggesting how wind should be integrated into bulk power systems. This project helps fill this data and analysis gap. Specifically, it develops and applies a quantitative method for the integration of a wind resource into a large electric system. The method permits wind to bid its output into a short-term forward market (specifically, an hour-ahead energy market) or to appear in real time and accept only intrahour and hourly imbalance payments for the unscheduled energy it delivers to the system. Finally, the method analyses the short-term (minute-to-minute) variation in wind output to determine the regulation requirement the wind resource imposes on the electrical system. Copyright © 2002 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.