Wind Power Myths Debunked

Michael Milligan, Kevin Porter, Edgar DeMeo, Paul Denholm, Hannele Holttinen, Brendan Kirby, Nicholas Miller, Andrew Mills, Mark O'Malley, Matthew Schuerger, Lennart Soder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

97 Scopus Citations


The natural variability of wind power makes it different from other generating technologies, which can give rise to questions about how wind power can be integrated into the grid successfully. This article aims to answer several important questions that can be raised with regard to wind power. Although wind is a variable resource, grid operators have experience with managing variability that comes from handling the variability of load. As a result, in many instances the power system is equipped to handle variability. Wind power is not expensive to integrate, nor does it require dedicated backup generation or storage. Developments in tools such as wind forecasting also aid in integrating wind power. Integrating wind can be aided by enlarging balancing areas and moving to subhourly scheduling, which enable grid operators to access a deeper stack of generating resources and take advantage of the smoothing of wind output due to geographic diversity. Continued improvements in new conventional-generation technologies and the emergence of demand response, smart grids, and new technologies such as plug-in hybrids will also help with wind integration.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number5233741
Pages (from-to)89-99
Number of pages11
JournalIEEE Power and Energy Magazine
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2009

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-550-47230


  • capacity credit
  • variability
  • wind energy generation
  • wind power


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