Modeling the Value of Integrated Canadian and U.S. Power Sector Expansion: NREL (National Renewable Energy Laboratory)

Wesley Cole, Philipp Beiter, Daniel Steinberg

Research output: NRELPresentation


The United States and Canada power systems are not isolated. Cross-border transmission and coordination of system operation create an interconnected power system, which results in combined imports and exports of electricity of greater than 70 TWh per year [1]. Currently, over 5 GW of new international transmission lines are in various stages of permitting and development. These lines may enable greater integration and coordination of the U.S. and Canada systems, which can in turn reduce challenges associated with integration of high penetrations of variable renewables. Furthermore, low-cost Canadian resources, such as wind and hydro, could contribute to compliance with the EPA's recently released Clean Power Plan. Improving integration and coordination internationally will reduce the costs of accessing these resources. This analysis work build on previous work by Ibanez and Zinaman [2]. In this work we seek to better understand the value of additional interconnection between the U.S. and Canadian power systems. Specifically, we quantify the value of additional interconnection and coordination within the Canadian-US integrated power system under scenarios in which large reductions (>80%) in power sector CO2 emissions are achieved. We explore how the ability to add additional cross-border transmission impacts capacity investment, the generation mix, system costs, and the ability of the system to integrate variable renewable energy into the power system. This analysis uses the Regional Energy Deployment System (ReEDS) capacity expansion model [3], [4] to quantify the value of the integrated power system expansion of the United States and Canada. ReEDS is an optimization model that assesses the deployment and operation (including transmission) of the electricity sector of the contiguous United States and Canadian provinces from 2016 through 2050. It has the ability to model the integration of renewable energy technologies into the grid. ReEDS captures renewable energy resources through the use of 356 individual resource regions and 134 balancing areas across the U.S. and is able to handle renewable energy issues such as variability in wind and solar output, transmission costs and constraints, and ancillary services requirements.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages21
StatePublished - 2016

Publication series

NamePresented at the 6th Annual Energy Policy Research Conference (EPRC), 8-9 September 2016, Santa Fe, New Mexico

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/PR-6A20-67173


  • Canada
  • Capacity Expansion Modeling
  • cross-border transmission
  • decarbonization
  • electricity integration
  • electricity sector
  • electricity trade
  • power systems
  • ReEDS


Dive into the research topics of 'Modeling the Value of Integrated Canadian and U.S. Power Sector Expansion: NREL (National Renewable Energy Laboratory)'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this