Impact of Renewable Energy on Power System Cost and Reliability

Jing Wu, Zhi Zhou, Audun Botterud, Andrew Mills, Bri Mathias Hodge, Michael Heaney

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


This paper develops computational models that can help lead to a detailed understanding of the operational integration challenges of renewable energy (solar photovoltaic and wind) in an individual utility system. We have developed an enhanced operational model to consider additional constraints from the special characteristics of the renewable energy. The mixed integer programming (MIP) model treats the renewable energy supply, operating reserves, and demand as exogenous known information, and it solves for the unit commitment (UC) and the economic dispatch (ED) decisions. Based on a utility system case study we find the following 1) the imperfect dayahead forecast raises the operating cost and reduces the system reliability; 2) the unit commitment decision changes more frequently as the forecast uncertainty increases or the balancing reserve requirement increases; 3) nearly all available renewable energy is utilized with some curtailment in winter and spring; and 4) the integration cost for larger renewable penetration (14-22%) is modest around $1-2/MWh. The contribution of this paper is two-fold. First, we introduce a UC/ED model that incorporates the wind and the solar supply characteristics, as well as the corresponding balancing reserve requirements. The model can be solved relatively fast on a large-scale utility system. Second, we analyze the impact of high penetration renewable energy, primarily PV, on cost and reliability based on a realistic utility system.

Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages10
StatePublished - 2013
EventIIE Annual Conference and Expo 2013 - San Juan, Puerto Rico
Duration: 18 May 201322 May 2013


ConferenceIIE Annual Conference and Expo 2013
Country/TerritoryPuerto Rico
CitySan Juan

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/CP-5500-58304


  • Large-scale utility system
  • Operating reserve
  • Renewable energy
  • Unit commitment (UC)


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