Primer on Wind Power for Utility Applications

Research output: NRELTechnical Report


The wind industry still faces many market barriers, some of which stem from utilities' lack of experience with the technology. Utility system operators and planners need to understand the effects of fluctuating wind power on system regulation and stability. Without high-frequency wind power data and realistic wind power plant models to analyze the problem, utilities often rely on conservativeassumptions and worst-case scenarios to make engineering decisions. To remedy the situation, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has undertaken a project to record long-term, high-resolution (1-hertz [Hz]) wind power output data from large wind power plants in various regions. The objective is to systematically collect actual wind power data from large commercial wind power plants sothat wind power fluctuations, their frequency distribution, the effects of spatial diversity, and the ancillary services of large commercial wind power plants can be analyzed. It also aims to provide the industry with nonproprietary wind power data in different wind regimes for system planning and operating impact studies. This report will summarize the results of data analysis performed at NRELand discuss the wind power characteristics related to power system operation and planning.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages45
StatePublished - 2005

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/TP-500-36230


  • system operators
  • system planners
  • utilities
  • utility
  • wind energy
  • wind farms
  • wind plants
  • wind turbines


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