Analyzing Storage for Wind Integration in a Transmission-Constrained Power System

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High levels of energy from variable generation sources such as wind and solar photovoltaics (PV) can result in significant curtailment, in which the wind and PV energy cannot be used to serve demand. Adding transmission and energy storage can assist in reducing renewable curtailment, but the relative merits of each enabling technology individually or combined is not well understood. Thus, we compare the role of transmission and storage in reducing curtailment, as well as reducing generation costs from conventional sources. Using a high-fidelity model of the electric power grid, we examine a scenario in which the western portion of the U.S. and Canada reaches 37% energy from wind and 12% energy from solar PV. In the case studied, we find that transmission is generally more effective than energy storage in reducing curtailment, due to the curtailment patterns of wind. However, the interaction between transmission and energy storage shows that the two technologies act symbiotically, meaning that their combined energy value is greater than that of each individually. This analysis demonstrates that fully realizing the benefits of wind resources located far from demand centers will require an effective method to deliver wind power at the right times to the right locations.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)122-129
Number of pages8
JournalApplied Energy
StatePublished - 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 Elsevier Ltd

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-6A20-70647


  • Energy storage
  • Production cost modeling
  • Renewable curtailment
  • Transmission
  • Wind energy


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