Better Software Enables Better Wind Integration

A year ago, I wrote an article about the Dumb Grid, complaining that the reason that many utilities find wind power so hard to integrate is because they aren’t using any brains. I used the infamous Feb 2008 incident when wind power in Texas dropped right as demand picked up because of a cold front to make my case: Both the rise in demand and the drop in wind power were predictable consequences of the cold front, but the ERCOT controllers were not using that weather information in their dispatch planning. Hence, the problem was not wind power or even the cold front: it was failure to use the available information.

Fortunately, things are much better today. There’s an excellent article on Power-Gen Worldwide about the Texas electric grid’s control center two years later. Here’s an excerpt about how they deal with wind variability today:

    The wind resource is more manageable now that ERCOT has wind resource forecasting software at its disposal. [...]

    ERCOT has begun using forecasting tools from AWS Truewind to help it manage wind energy resources. In the coming days ERCOT will begin using a ramping tool, from the same vendor, to improve its forecasting of wind resource ramping events. Just a week before our visit, the AWS Truewind software–operating in a test mode–predicted a 2,000 MW drop in wind resource followed 15 minutes later by a 2,000MW recovery. The predicted ramp event matched the actual event almost perfectly.

    Joel Mickey told me that ERCOT is happy to dispatch as much wind energy as is available.

Thanks to Micheal Giberson over at Knowledge Problem for bringing this article to my attention.

About these ads

10 Comments

  1. Utilizing a forecasting is a intelligent way to analyze the wind currents and monitor and estimate how much wind we could get. I guess if they could in some way combine that with other energy source like solar it would be nice too.

  2. [...] to mitigate the problems which cause the quick ramping to diminish. I just recently wrote about better predictive software which allows utilities to predict wind production much more effectively. What forces Xcel to ramp their coal plants quickly is not that wind power is variable so much as [...]

  3. [...] of energy efficiency and conservation can be enhanced with the use of smart grid technology.  Smart grid technology (such as demand response) can also aid in the integration of variable resources such as [...]

  4. [...] of energy efficiency and conservation can be enhanced with the use of smart grid technology.  Smart grid technology (such as demand response) can also aid in the integration of variable resources such as [...]

  5. [...] of energy efficiency and conservation can be enhanced with the use of smart grid technology.  Smart grid technology (such as demand response) can also aid in the integration of variable resources such as [...]

  6. [...] of energy efficiency and conservation can be enhanced with the use of smart grid technology.  Smart grid technology (such as demand response) can also aid in the integration of variable resources such as [...]

  7. [...] of energy efficiency and conservation can be enhanced with the use of smart grid technology.  Smart grid technology (such as demand response) can also aid in the integration of variable resources such as [...]

  8. [...] coal, but weather is not random, especially over large regions a few hours in advance.  With good weather prediction, the gaps in wind power can also be filled with other [...]

  9. [...] than coal, but weather is not random, especially over large regions a few hours in advance.  With good weather prediction, the gaps in wind power can also be filled with other [...]

  10. [...] than coal, but weather is not random, especially over large regions a few hours in advance. With good weather prediction, the gaps in wind power can also be filled with other [...]

RSS feed for comments on this post

Comments are closed.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 142 other followers

%d bloggers like this: