United States

United States

Wind power connected to BPA system passes 3GW

UNITED STATES: Wind generation on the transmission system of Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) in the US's northwest has surpassed 3GW for the first time.

Bonneville Power Administration transmission towers
Bonneville Power Administration transmission towers

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The wind farms contributing include 35 sites mostly located to the east of the Columbia River Gorge in Oregon and Washington.

BPA owns and operates three quarters of the Northwest’s high-voltage transmission, covering Oregon, Washington, Idaho and western Montana.

The organisation said that 1.5GW of wind power has been added in the last two years.

BPA senior vice president Brian Silverstein said: "The wind resource connected to BPA’s transmission grid is growing at an astonishing pace. Even at this growth rate, our concerted efforts to meet the challenges associated with this growth and wind’s variability are working."

The administration expects to have 6GW of wind power and is expanding and reinforcing its transmission system to support the integration.

It announced plans in June to spend $1 billion in stimulus money on four transmission lines to enable 3GW of wind. They are either underway or scheduled to begin in the next two years.

It is also developing a wind forecasting system that is intended to provide information up to three days in advance, rather than the one hour provided currently.

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