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Wind power could hamper state's transmission grid, study says

Minnesota's power grid would bump up against its limits fairly quickly if wind power developers started building bunches of small wind projects scattered across the state, according to a new study released Tuesday by the state Office of Energy Security. The study looked at whether the transmission system could absorb 600 megawatts of renewable energy from projects that generate between 10 megawatts and 40 megawatts of power.

Renewable energy advocates say upgrades are feasible

Minnesota's power grid would bump up against its limits fairly quickly if wind power developers started building bunches of small wind projects scattered across the state, according to a new study released Tuesday by the state Office of Energy Security.

The study looked at whether the transmission system could absorb 600 megawatts of renewable energy from projects that generate between 10 megawatts and 40 megawatts of power.

By comparison, large wind projects are on the drawing boards to produce 100 megawatts of energy or more.

Last year, the first part of the state study showed the grid could absorb 600 megawatts of wind energy from small wind farms spread across the state without adding any new transmission lines.

This second part of the study was designed to see if the grid could accept another 600 megawatts of wind energy for a total of 1,200 megawatts.

The second study results showed the grid was near capacity with little room to accept more energy without building more transmission lines, said William Glahn, director of the Office of Energy Security.

But advocates for small, locally owned wind farms maintained that the grid was more flexible... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

Renewable energy advocates say upgrades are feasible

Minnesota's power grid would bump up against its limits fairly quickly if wind power developers started building bunches of small wind projects scattered across the state, according to a new study released Tuesday by the state Office of Energy Security.

The study looked at whether the transmission system could absorb 600 megawatts of renewable energy from projects that generate between 10 megawatts and 40 megawatts of power.

By comparison, large wind projects are on the drawing boards to produce 100 megawatts of energy or more.

Last year, the first part of the state study showed the grid could absorb 600 megawatts of wind energy from small wind farms spread across the state without adding any new transmission lines.

This second part of the study was designed to see if the grid could accept another 600 megawatts of wind energy for a total of 1,200 megawatts.

The second study results showed the grid was near capacity with little room to accept more energy without building more transmission lines, said William Glahn, director of the Office of Energy Security.

But advocates for small, locally owned wind farms maintained that the grid was more flexible than state officials were saying. They said the study showed the grid could be upgraded for a fraction of the cost of major new transmission lines designed in part to carry renewable wind energy.

George Crocker, executive director of the North American Water Office in Lake Elmo, said the study also shows that with $121 million in improvements, the grid could accept the additional 600 megawatts from those scattered projects.

That compares with the $1.7 billion price for three high-voltage lines crisscrossing the state in a project called CapX 2020, he said. One of those lines is expected to deliver wind energy from the edges of the Dakotas to the Twin Cities.

Glahn said delivering wind energy is only part of the purpose of CapX 2020.

The main reason for the project, he said, is to improve the reliability of the grid in the future.


Source: http://www.twincities.com/b...

SEP 15 2009
https://www.windaction.org/posts/22360-wind-power-could-hamper-state-s-transmission-grid-study-says
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