CEC Scrutinizes Integrating More Renewables

By Published On: February 5, 2005

Meshing intermittent resources into the transmission system will most likely be ?one of the most difficult intellectual challenges? for the grid manager and utility operators in the next decade, predicted California Energy Commission member John Geesman during a CEC workshop. During the February 3 meeting, the commission and stakeholders fleshed out an ambitious ?to do? list needed to integrate large increases of renewables into the grid. Because of the state?s heavy reliance on central station baseload resources, a thorny issue is whether there is room on the grid for intermittent resources, said Jim Dyer, senior consultant, Electric Power Group. Ensuring that wind power is deliverable to customers and assessing the impacts of plant retirements on integration of green resources are among other issues that need to be addressed. Unless problems are resolved, Dyer cautioned, the system operator could be set up to fail. He added, however, that the challenges are not insurmountable. Germany, a world leader on renewables, has successfully managed the intermittent availability of wind in part by having a good deal of ?shadow,? or backup, generation and operating reserves, he said. Following another workshop in April, commission staff are expected to issue in July a white paper laying out policy recommendations on integrating renewables.

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