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Compensating for wind variability using co-located natural gas generation and energy storage


Wind generation presents variability on every time scale, which must be accommodated by the electric grid. Limited quantities of wind power can be successfully integrated by the current generation and demand-side response mix but, as deployment of variable resources increases, the resulting variability becomes increasingly difficult and costly to mitigate. We model a co-located power generation/energy storage block which contains wind generation, a gas turbine, and fast-ramping energy storage. Conceptually, the system is designed with the goal of producing near-constant “baseload” power at a reasonable cost while still delivering a significant and environmentally meaningful fraction of that power from wind. The model is executed in 10 second time increments in order to correctly reflect the operational limitations of the natural gas turbine. A scenario analysis identifies system configurations that can generate power with 30% of energy from wind, a variability of less than 0.5% of the desired power level, and an average cost around $70/MWh. The systems described have the most utility for isolated grids, such as Hawaii or Ireland, but the study has implications for all electrical systems seeking to integrate wind energy and informs potential incentive policies.

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Correspondence to Eric Hittinger.

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Hittinger, E., Whitacre, J.F. & Apt, J. Compensating for wind variability using co-located natural gas generation and energy storage. Energy Syst 1, 417–439 (2010).

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  • Wind integration
  • Energy storage
  • Wind variability
  • Sodium sulfur batteries
  • Renewable portfolio standards