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Supplying Baseload Power and Reducing Transmission Requirements by Interconnecting Wind Farms
 

Summary: Supplying Baseload Power and Reducing Transmission Requirements by
Interconnecting Wind Farms
CRISTINA L. ARCHER AND MARK Z. JACOBSON
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Stanford University, Stanford, California
(Manuscript received 6 July 2006, in final form 6 February 2007)
ABSTRACT
Wind is the world's fastest growing electric energy source. Because it is intermittent, though, wind is not
used to supply baseload electric power today. Interconnecting wind farms through the transmission grid is
a simple and effective way of reducing deliverable wind power swings caused by wind intermittency. As
more farms are interconnected in an array, wind speed correlation among sites decreases and so does the
probability that all sites experience the same wind regime at the same time. The array consequently behaves
more and more similarly to a single farm with steady wind speed and thus steady deliverable wind power.
In this study, benefits of interconnecting wind farms were evaluated for 19 sites, located in the midwestern
United States, with annual average wind speeds at 80 m above ground, the hub height of modern wind
turbines, greater than 6.9 m s 1
(class 3 or greater). It was found that an average of 33% and a maximum
of 47% of yearly averaged wind power from interconnected farms can be used as reliable, baseload electric
power. Equally significant, interconnecting multiple wind farms to a common point and then connecting
that point to a far-away city can allow the long-distance portion of transmission capacity to be reduced, for
example, by 20% with only a 1.6% loss of energy. Although most parameters, such as intermittency,

  

Source: Archer, Cristina Lozej - Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Stanford University

 

Collections: Geosciences; Renewable Energy