Agriculture Energy News - Grid integration : Wind Energy

The Wind Program works with electric grid operators, utilities, regulators, and industry to create new strategies for incorporating increasing amounts of wind energy into the power system while maintaining economic and reliable operation of the grid.

Utilities have been increasingly deploying wind power to provide larger portions of electricity generation. However, many utilities also express concerns about wind power's possible impacts on electric power system operations, because wind's variability adds uncertainty beyond what is present due to variations in electricity demand (also called load). These concerns, if not adequately addressed, could limit the development potential of wind power in the United States.

As the nation moves toward an energy system with higher penetrations of wind energy, it is increasingly important for grid operators to understand how they can reliably integrate large quantities of wind energy into system operations; additionally, it is important to develop capabilities that enable these new wind installations to actively improve the power quality of the electric grid.


The program's goal in advanced grid integration is to remove barriers to wind energy grid integration and accelerate deployment to enable 20% of the nation's electricity to come from wind. This can be accomplished through integration studies, modeling, demonstrations, and assessments at both the transmission and distribution levels. To develop a renewed vision for U.S. wind power research, development, and deployment, the program has released the Wind Vision Report, which gives a roadmap to 35% wind energy by 2050.

Research project highlights

Program researchers work with industry partners on projects aimed at better understanding integration issues and building confidence in the reliability of wind generation. This includes conducting wind integration studies; developing models needed for transmission system planners; understanding how wind energy can impact electricity markets; and assessing a variety of other technical impacts of integrating wind into the grid. The program is leading a portfolio of wind integration, transmission, and resource assessment and characterization projects that will help the industry understand how to reliably integrate large quantities of wind energy into system operations, as well as develop capabilities that will enable these new wind installations to actively improve the quality of electric grid.

Wind forecasting

The program works to improve the current state of the art in wind forecasting—one of the most beneficial strategies for mitigating wind variability and uncertainty—by providing data for forecast verification, improving forecast accuracy, and evaluating the best methods for presenting forecast data to system operators. The program also works to provide accurate measurements and representations of the wind resource at modern wind turbine hub heights.

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