Thursday, 17 November 2011

Better forecasts put more wind on grid

Minneapolis Star Tribune
November 11, 2011

Using new weather-forecasting technology, Xcel Energy says it has vastly improved its ability to predict when wind turbines will run and boosted how much electricity they send to the power grid.

The new capability saved $6 million last year by allowing the utility to avoid running fossil-fuel power plants when it could rely on wind power instead, according to the Minneapolis-based utility.


In Colorado, after two new wind farms were added, Xcel said it recently generated more than 50 percent of its nighttime load from wind on eight occasions. In its Minnesota region, the utility said it recently hit a 37 percent wind power share at night.
"Five years ago I never would never have anticipated that, but it is a new reality and one that is exciting. We're glad that we're on the leading edge of this," said Welch, who attributed those milestones partly to better forecasting.
Michael Goggin , manager of transmission policy for the American Wind Energy Association, an industry trade group, said Texas wind farms have contributed more than 25 percent of nighttime power, and utilities in Spain and Ireland have gotten 50 percent of off-peak electricity from wind.
For the full article, click here.

No comments:

Post a Comment