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Title: Grid Integration and the Carrying Capacity of the U.S. Grid to Incorporate Variable Renewable Energy

In the United States and elsewhere, renewable energy (RE) generation supplies an increasingly large percentage of annual demand, including nine U.S. states where wind comprised over 10% of in-state generation in 2013. This white paper summarizes the challenges to integrating increasing amounts of variable RE, identifies emerging practices in power system planning and operation that can facilitate grid integration, and proposes a unifying concept—economic carrying capacity—that can provide a framework for evaluating actions to accommodate higher penetrations of RE. There is growing recognition that while technical challenges to variable RE integration are real, they can generally be addressed via a variety of solutions that vary in implementation cost. As a result, limits to RE penetration are primarily economic, driven by factors that include transmission and the flexibility of the power grid to balance supply and demand. This limit can be expressed as economic carrying capacity, or the point at which variable RE is no longer economically competitive or desirable to the system or society.
Authors:
 [1] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [1]
  1. National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
1215010
Report Number(s):
NREL/TP--6A20-62607
DOE Contract Number:
AC36-08GO28308
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
24 POWER TRANSMISSION AND DISTRIBUTION FLEXIBILITY; RENEWABLE ENERGY; GENERATION; INTEGRATION; POWER SYSTEMS; OPERATION; GRID INTEGRATION; ECONOMIC CARRYING CAPACITY; RENEWABLE ENERGY PENETRATION