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Wind energy too much of a good thing?

"I currently have, in Minnesota, 23,000 megawatts of interconnection requests for wind," says Moeller, who oversees new connections for MISO. Another 23,000 megawatts of future wind power in North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa and Wisconsin also is in line. In comparison, the entire Twin Cities metropolitan area typically draws about 6,000 megawatts of electricity out of the transmission system. While some have been on record for years, a sudden barrage of requests -- about 22,000 megawatts' worth -- has burst into MISO since Sept. 10. Minnesota's new renewable energy law, probably triggered some.

Wind energy already is turning into way too much of a good thing for the Midwest's current transmission network.

Consumers might never detect any short circuits, because the lights aren't about to dim or darken. The system's operators can control new loads of electricity coming onto the wires lacing the Upper Midwest and Great Lakes regions.

But wind power projects are proliferating so fast that today's transmission network can't come close to giving all of them outlets for their electricity.

"I'm going to build an ark, because I've got a flood on my hands," says Clair Moeller of Midwest Independent Transmission System Operator Inc. MISO is the industry group that manages the high-voltage network in 15 states and the province of Manitoba, Canada.

The amount of power trying to plug into those transmission lines now is overwhelming. The requests are 10 times as large as the capacity available on existing transmission lines, Moeller, said in an interview earlier this week.

"I currently have, in Minnesota, 23,000 megawatts of interconnection requests for wind," says Moeller, who oversees new connections for MISO. Another 23,000 megawatts of future wind power in... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

Wind energy already is turning into way too much of a good thing for the Midwest's current transmission network.

Consumers might never detect any short circuits, because the lights aren't about to dim or darken. The system's operators can control new loads of electricity coming onto the wires lacing the Upper Midwest and Great Lakes regions.

But wind power projects are proliferating so fast that today's transmission network can't come close to giving all of them outlets for their electricity.

"I'm going to build an ark, because I've got a flood on my hands," says Clair Moeller of Midwest Independent Transmission System Operator Inc. MISO is the industry group that manages the high-voltage network in 15 states and the province of Manitoba, Canada.

The amount of power trying to plug into those transmission lines now is overwhelming. The requests are 10 times as large as the capacity available on existing transmission lines, Moeller, said in an interview earlier this week.

"I currently have, in Minnesota, 23,000 megawatts of interconnection requests for wind," says Moeller, who oversees new connections for MISO. Another 23,000 megawatts of future wind power in North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa and Wisconsin also is in line. In comparison, the entire Twin Cities metropolitan area typically draws about 6,000 megawatts of electricity out of the transmission system.

While some have been on record for years, a sudden barrage of requests -- about 22,000 megawatts' worth -- has burst into MISO since Sept. 10. Minnesota's new renewable energy law, probably triggered some. But talk about comparable federal standards ordering utilities to buy renewable energy such as wind power also are driving wind farm developers to MISO.

"What I would expect is people (developers) are anticipating those (federal) changes might occur and they want to be in line, should they occur," Moeller speculates.

But the magnitude of the tidal wave is clear. Throughout the regional network, an estimated 52,000 megawatts of wind power is in MISO's "queue" waiting for consideration, Moeller said in an interview.

At the least, that means power from some planned wind farms will not fit on the network, as it is now, the executive says.

 


Source: http://news.postbulletin.co...

NOV 10 2007
https://www.windaction.org/posts/11868-wind-energy-too-much-of-a-good-thing
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