Preliminary Analysis and Case Study of Transmission Constraints and Wind Energy in the West: Preprint

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


Wind developers typically need long-term transmission service to finance their projects; however, most of the capacity on several key paths is reserved by existing firm contracts. Because non-firm contracts are only offered for periods up to 1 year, obtaining financing for the wind project is generally not possible when firm capacity is unavailable. However, sufficient capacity may exist on theconstrained paths for new wind projects that can risk curtailment for a small number of hours of the year. This paper presents the results of a study sponsored by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), a work group participant in the Rocky Mountain Area Transmission Study (RMATS). Using recent historical power flow data, case studies were conducted on the constrained paths betweenWyoming-Colorado (TOT3) and Montana-Northwest, coinciding with areas of exceptional wind resources. The potential curtailment frequency for hypothetical 100-MW and 500-MW wind plants was calculated using hourly wind data. The results from the study indicate that sufficient potential exists for innovative transmission products that can help bring more wind to load centers and increase theefficiency of the existing transmission network.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages17
StatePublished - 2005
EventTo be WindPower 2005 - Denver, Colorado
Duration: 15 May 200518 May 2005


ConferenceTo be WindPower 2005
CityDenver, Colorado

Bibliographical note

To be presented at WindPower 2005, 15-18 May 2005, Denver, Colorado

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/CP-500-38152


  • loads
  • transmission
  • wind energy
  • wind plants
  • wind turbine


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