Wind leading to congestion

It's a problem in some states

Rosy Lum | Dec 11, 2011

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Wind generation is contributing to congestion in Illinois, Indiana and Ohio, affecting both the Midwest Independent Transmission System Operator (MISO) and the PJM Interconnection.

It is a problem that is only beginning to manifest on the electric grid, but may lead to significant congestion if not addressed, according to panelists at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) congestion study workshop held in Philadelphia on Dec. 6. The workshop is the first of four the DOE will hold to inform its 2012 national electric transmission congestion study.

“Illinois, Indiana and now northwestern Ohio are seeing a tremendous growth in wind integrations,” said Bob Bradish, head of American Electric Power’s (NYSE:AEP) transmission planning group. “A lot of that is now starting to show in the way of congestion on our system out there.”

There is a disconnect between the transmission planning perspective and resource planning perspective on what the impact of capacity will be on the transmission system, he said.
“Capacity is driven by the resource planning team,” he said. “They have a definition of capacity; they hand it to the transmission team, that team uses that in planning,” Bradish said.

The transmission team plans for peak hours, or when maximum demand will occur on the system. Incorporating assumptions about what the generation and load will be during peak hours in a transmission planner’s model runs into problems when, for example, 4,000 MW of wind power to which the resource planning team had given a capacity rating of 600 MW generates at full capacity.

“When I plan a transmission system that’s capable of 600 MW firm, what do I do with the other 3,400 MW if it shows up?” Bradish said. “It’s happening now and is causing issues on our transmission  grid.”

This is making planning that used to be relatively routine more complex, said Chuck Liebold, PJM’s manager of interregional planning.

“PJM is now recommending transmission upgrades due to light load criteria, which looks at a 50% peak load and is heavily influenced by renewables integration,” Liebold said.
Light load studies are actionable, and can drive new transmission, Bradish told

TransmissionHub on the sidelines of the workshop. PJM has also expanded its operational criteria, “so if there are things going on in your system to cause operational problems for you then that can be brought to PJM’s attention and they can look into possible solutions to deal with that.”

AEP could also build transmission and pay for it itself, he noted. But the nature of eastern demand is such that a congestion issue identified and addressed in the western part of the PJM system, for example, will lead to other points of congestion.

“East economics are so that they want to pull everything from the west; you fix something, they just pull more, so congestion comes back up again,” Bradish said.

AEP sits on the MISO/PJM seam, and while they look closely at their respective systems, there is not much coordination, Bradish said. He noted that due to the nature of the grid, if the wind shows up in MISO, it will flow into PJM, and vice versa.

“If this planning issue is not addressed, we’re going to see a whole bunch more congestion,” Bradish. “I don’t know how or what the DOE can do on this issue, I don’t know how you address it, but it certainly will drive congestion going forward.”

Rosy Lum is Chief Analyst for TransmissionHub, where this story first appeared: http://transmissionhub.com/2011/12/06/wind-power-causing-congestion-in-pjm---doe-worksho utm_medium=eNL&utm_campaign=THUB_DAILY&utm_term=Original-Member

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Comments

Stored Energy

 

I understand the system can handle only so much generation but the problem of what to do with the excess should be store it for as long as possible and use it when needed. I also like the idea of shutting down certain turbines when there is over-production but the idea of not even bothering with the technology to see how it can blend with conventional power generation seems to be the lazy man's way out of the problem. I am sure there are folks taking advantage of this green revolution we are seeing for $$$ bling! But that will always be the case for any product made or service offered and is not a reason to stop trying, otherwise things will stay the same and when change is necessary the U.S will be behind playing catch up. 

 

Stored Energy

 

I understand the system can handle only so much generation but the problem of what to do with the excess should be to store it for as long as possible and use it when needed. I also like the idea of shutting down certain turbines when there is over-production but the idea of not even bothering with the technology to see how it can blend with conventional power generation seems to be the lazy man's way out of the problem. I am sure there are folks taking advantage of this green revolution we are seeing for $$$ bling! But that will always be the case for any product made or service offered, and is not a reason to stop trying, otherwise things will stay the same and when change is necessary the U.S will be behind playing catch up. 

Wind congestion

It seems that wind power now has priority - "Take my output first; if it's not sufficient, then you can turn on your fossil or nuclear generators."

Wind turbines should be constructed with "feathering" blades, like airplane propellors. Then their output can be adjusted to meet the planning set by the transmission system. Alternatively, wind turbines providing excess/unneeded power should just be disconnected from the grid and braked. 

Wind congestion

It seems that wind power now has priority - "Take my output first; if it's not sufficient, then you can turn on your fossil or nuclear generators."

Wind turbines should be constructed with "feathering" blades, like airplane propellors. Then their output can be adjusted to meet the planning set by the transmission system. Alternatively, wind turbines providing excess/unneeded power should just be disconnected from the grid and braked. 

Blowing Wind or Smoke

When government gets into this mess with transmission and generation they only see Eco-issues and not operational problems. Government appointees to energy and manufacturing have a tunnel vision of special interest and never see the implications of their desires. We've seen so many progressive liberal appointees directing energy focussing on "forcing consumers" to buy into their Eco-energy plans.

Are the energy management people even advising these political science appointees that these Eco based directions from Senior Administration offices that wind power if forced into the system that obviously cannot support it nor handle it will cause massive difficulties and potential system breakdown? I'm really losing faith in Senior Management of Energy producers and Transmission because they aren't confronting Senior Political Administrations with the information concerning Wind Power Green Energy Plans. These senior management people are protecting their cushy jobs and directing their subordinates with unbelievable operational issues that the current Grid System cannot account for. Is this good for the consumers or good for grandstanding Eco-activist Senior Advisors of Administratios. I do see or forecast a disaster waiting to happen.