NREL: Wind power could supply 20% of Eastern US grid

The Eastern Wind Integration and Transmission Study (EWITS) is one of the largest regional wind integration studies to date. It was initiated in 2008 to examine the operational impact of up to 20-30% energy penetration of wind energy on the power system in the Eastern Interconnect of the United States (see study area map). This study was set up to answer questions that utilities, regional transmission operators, and planning organizations had about wind power and transmission development in the east.

Previous studies focusing on specific states or utilities have laid the groundwork for wind integration studies (e.g., New York, 2005, and Minnesota, 2006). The Eastern Wind Integration and Transmission Study approach allows additional questions to be answered, including:

* How do local wind resources compare with higher capacity-factor wind power that requires more transmission?
* How does geographic diversity of wind reduce wind integration costs (i.e., spreading the wind power over a larger region and thereby "smoothing" out some of the variability)?
* How does offshore wind power compare with onshore wind power?
* What transmission is needed to facilitate higher penetrations of wind power?
* What is the role and value of wind forecasting?
* How are wind integration costs spread over large market footprints and regions?
* What additional operating reserves are needed for large wind power deployments?

The Eastern Wind Integration and Transmission Study is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) with project coordination by NREL. The wind integration and transmission analysis is being lead by Enernex, with support from Ventyx and the Midwest Independent System Operator (MISO). Wind inputs for the Eastern Wind Integration and Transmission Study were developed by AWS Truewind. This study and its partner study, the Western Wind and Solar Integration Study, are conducting an operating impact analysis to see if 20-30% wind energy is feasible from an operational level.
Technical Review Committee

A technical review committee consisting of regional and national technical experts on wind generation and power systems analysis guides and reviews the study. The technical review committee reviews and provides feedback on key assumptions, methods, and preliminary results.