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Study: Wind power would drive up costs

A key finding revealed that in addition to the infrastructure and operating costs for wind turbines and equipment and transmission facilities, there is an extra 10 percent cost for wind energy to Nebraska utilities - or $5.41 a megawatt-hour - to integrate wind generation into the generation mix. This cost was evaluated at the 10 percent wind generation level and takes into consideration the cost of using other generation facilities to help balance wind power's variability.

It costs utilities an extra 10 percent to add large amounts of wind-powered generation to the state's electric power grid, a year-long study found.

The study, released by the Nebraska Power Association, looked at what it would cost to integrate wind resources into the state's existing power generation mix at much higher levels than exists today.

The study evaluated new wind-powered generation as a percent of total Nebraska electricity needs at 10, 20 and 40 percent levels for the base year 2018.

"Because there is no economical way to store large amounts of electricity, utilities must balance the electricity generated by power plants with the consumer's demand for that energy instantaneously," said Clint Johannes, chair of the committee that helped author the study.

"Adding more wind-powered generation, which is a variable resource, changes the way utility operators achieve this balance and impacts how and when existing thermal-based units, such as coal and natural gas-fired facilities, generate," Johannes said in a release.

A key finding revealed that in addition to the infrastructure and operating costs for wind turbines and equipment and transmission facilities, there... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

It costs utilities an extra 10 percent to add large amounts of wind-powered generation to the state's electric power grid, a year-long study found.

The study, released by the Nebraska Power Association, looked at what it would cost to integrate wind resources into the state's existing power generation mix at much higher levels than exists today.

The study evaluated new wind-powered generation as a percent of total Nebraska electricity needs at 10, 20 and 40 percent levels for the base year 2018.

"Because there is no economical way to store large amounts of electricity, utilities must balance the electricity generated by power plants with the consumer's demand for that energy instantaneously," said Clint Johannes, chair of the committee that helped author the study.

"Adding more wind-powered generation, which is a variable resource, changes the way utility operators achieve this balance and impacts how and when existing thermal-based units, such as coal and natural gas-fired facilities, generate," Johannes said in a release.

A key finding revealed that in addition to the infrastructure and operating costs for wind turbines and equipment and transmission facilities, there is an extra 10 percent cost for wind energy to Nebraska utilities - or $5.41 a megawatt-hour - to integrate wind generation into the generation mix.

This cost was evaluated at the 10 percent wind generation level and takes into consideration the cost of using other generation facilities to help balance wind power's variability.

Results of the study were determined by using large-scale computer models and data from a three-year database of wind details. The study looked at year 2018 across a 25-state area.

The Nebraska wind-powered generation amounts modeled range from 1,249 to 4,727 megawatts, eight to 31 times the amount of wind-powered now operating in the state. This compares to about 8,700 megawatts of other "non-wind" generation resources expected to be available in Nebraska in 2018.

The study was paid for with funding from the U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory and matched by the NPA utilities with in-kind labor and some funding.


Source: http://www.journalstar.com/...

MAR 8 2010
http://www.windaction.org/posts/24995-study-wind-power-would-drive-up-costs
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