Wind power development in the United States is outpacing previous estimates for many regions, particularly those with good wind resources. The pace of wind power deployment may soon outstrip regional capabilities to provide transmission and integration services to achieve the most economic power system operation. Conversely, regions such as the Southeastern United States do not have good wind resources and will have difficulty meeting proposed federal Renewable Portfolio Standards with local supply. There is a growing need to explore innovative solutions for collaborating between regions to achieve the least cost solution for meeting such a renewable energy mandate.

The Department of Energy funded the project “Integrating Midwest Wind Energy into Southeast Electricity Markets” to be led by EPRI in coordination with the main authorities for the regions: SPP, Entergy, TVA, Southern Company and OPC. EPRI utilized several subcontractors for the project including LCG, the developers of the model UPLAN. The study aims to evaluate the operating cost benefits of coordination of scheduling and balancing for Southwest Power Pool (SPP) wind transfers to Southeastern Electric Reliability Council (SERC) Balancing Authorities (BAs). The primary objective of this project is to analyze the benefits of regional cooperation for integrating mid-western wind energy into southeast electricity markets. Scenarios were defined, modeled and investigated to address production variability and uncertainty and the associated balancing of large quantities of wind power in SPP and delivery to energy markets in the southern regions of the SERC.

DOE funded Oak Ridge National Laboratory to provide additional support to the project, including a review of results and any side analysis that may provide additional insight. This report is a unit-by-unit analysis of changes in operations due to the different scenarios used in the overall study. It focuses on the change in capacity factors and the number of start-ups required for each unit since those criteria summarize key aspects of plant operations, how often are they called upon and how much do they operate.

The primary analysis of the overall project is based on security-constrained unit commitment (SCUC) and economic dispatch (SCED) simulations of the SPP-SERC regions as modeled for the year 2022. The SCUC/SCED models utilized for the project were developed through extensive consultation with the project utility partners, to ensure the various regions and operational practices are represented as best as possible in the model. SPP, Entergy, Oglethorpe Power Company (OPC), Southern Company, and the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) actively participated in the project providing input data for the models and review of simulation results and conclusions. While other SERC utility systems are modeled, the listed SERC utilities were explicitly included as active participants in the project due to the size of their load and relative proximity to SPP for importing wind energy....(read more...)