Western Wind and Solar Integration Study: Hydropower Analysis

Research output: NRELSubcontract Report


The U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) study of 20% Wind Energy by 2030 was conducted to consider the benefits, challenges, and costs associated with sourcing 20% of U.S. energy consumption from wind power by 2030. This study found that with proactive measures, no insurmountable barriers were identified to meet the 20% goal. Following this study, DOE and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory(NREL) conducted two more studies: the Eastern Wind Integration and Transmission Study (EWITS) covering the eastern portion of the U.S., and the Western Wind and Solar Integration Study (WWSIS) covering the western portion of the United States. The WWSIS was conducted by NREL and research partner General Electric (GE) in order to provide insight into the costs, technical or physical barriers,and operational impacts caused by the variability and uncertainty of wind, photovoltaic, and concentrated solar power when employed to serve up to 35% of the load energy in the WestConnect region (Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, and Wyoming). WestConnect is composed of several utility companies working collaboratively to assess stakeholder and market needs to and develop cost-effectiveimprovements to the western wholesale electricity market. Participants include the Arizona Public Service, El Paso Electric Company, NV Energy, Public Service of New Mexico, Salt River Project, Tri-State Generation and Transmission Cooperative, Tucson Electric Power, Xcel Energy and the Western Area Power Administration.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages196
StatePublished - 2012

Bibliographical note

Work performed by Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, Arizona

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/SR-5500-53098


  • hydropower
  • Western Wind and Solar Integration Study
  • wind
  • wind energy


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