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Title: Eastern Renewable Generation Integration Study

The Eastern Interconnection (EI) is one of the largest power systems in the world, and its size and complexity have historically made it difficult to study in high levels of detail in a modeling environment. In order to understand how this system might be impacted by high penetrations (30% of total annual generation) of wind and solar photovoltaic (PV) during steady state operations, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) conducted the Eastern Renewable Generation Integration Study (ERGIS). This study investigates certain aspects of the reliability and economic efficiency problem faced by power system operators and planners. Specifically, the study models the ability to meet electricity demand at a 5-minute time interval by scheduling resources for known ramping events, while maintaining adequate reserves to meet random variation in supply and demand, and contingency events. To measure the ability to meet these requirements, a unit commitment and economic dispatch (UC&ED) model is employed to simulate power system operations. The economic costs of managing this system are presented using production costs, a traditional UC&ED metric that does not include any consideration of long-term fixed costs. ERGIS simulated one year of power system operations to understand regionalmore » and sub-hourly impacts of wind and PV by developing a comprehensive UC&ED model of the EI. In the analysis, it is shown that, under the study assumptions, generation from approximately 400 GW of combined wind and PV capacity can be balanced on the transmission system at a 5-minute level. In order to address the significant computational burdens associated with a model of this detail we apply novel computing techniques to dramatically reduce simulation solve time while simultaneously increasing the resolution and fidelity of the analysis. Our results also indicate that high penetrations of wind and PV (collectively variable generation (VG)), significantly impact the operation of traditional generating resources and cause these resources to be used less frequently and operate across a broader output range because wind and PV have lower operating costs and variable output levels.« less
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  1. National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)
  2. RePPAE LLC, Wexford, PA (United States)
  3. GE Energy, Denver, CO (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Wind and Water Technologies Office (EE-4W); USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Solar Energy Technologies Office (EE-4S); USDOE Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability
Contributing Orgs:
RePPAE LLC, Wexford, PA (United States); GE Energy, Denver, CO (United States)
Country of Publication:
United States
24 POWER TRANSMISSION AND DISTRIBUTION; 29 ENERGY PLANNING, POLICY, AND ECONOMY analysis; insights; grid; integration; renewable; RE; energy; clean; wind; solar; gas; Eastern Interconnection; East; United States; high penetration; coal; hydropower; transmission