How wind and solar can affect the Eastern Seaboard

[Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 0
edited September 2016 in Energy news

Just read this interesting article about modeling the effects of wind and solar production on the eastern grid. The main takeaways from the study undertaken by NREL are that as wind and solar production increase:

  • "The operation of traditional power sources (such as coal, natural gas, and hydropower) changes. Turning up or down more quickly to accommodate seasonal and daily variations of wind and solar in order to maintain the balance between demand and supply. In addition, traditional generators would likely operate for shorter periods of time as wind and solar resources meet more of the demand for electricity."
  • "Flows of power across the Eastern Interconnection change more rapidly and more frequently. During periods of very high wind and solar generation (e.g., 40 percent or more of daily load), model regions trade frequently and in large volumes according to new net load patterns."
  • "Regulatory changes, market design innovation, and flexible operating procedures are important to achieving higher levels of wind and solar. Looking at a year of operations at a 5-minute level, ERGIS shows that the power system can meet loads with variable resources — like wind and solar — in a variety of extreme conditions. However, technical feasibility depends on other transmission and generation operators providing the necessary ramping, energy, and capacity services; wholesale market design changes; and various capital expenditures, all of which will have financial and other implications that may need to be addressed and were outside of this study."

Sounds like good news! Any thoughts?


  • dstjohn99dstjohn99 Member Posts: 371

    I sure hope energy storage catches up in my lifetime. I think utility scale storage facilities will become important to buffer excess production / short term demand peaks and transition to starting and stopping additional generation. Not to mention the potential to eliminate ALL need for fossil fuels used for generation. Imagine a world where all grid is supplied by renewables. I'd love to see nuclear energy become unnecessary too. How many devastating accidents need to happen and there is still no solution for spent fuel waste.

Sign In or Register to comment.