GE Energy is about to team up with the University of California on a 16 month study that will examine the impact of wind power on California's power grid. The project will look at ensuring grid reliability and quality with growing volumes of wind and solar power. The completed study will provide recommendations on operational, financial, market and policy considerations for integrating renewable energy into California's grid. "The unique impacts of wind energy need to be fully understood to protect and manage a given state's power system," says GE's Richard Piwko. "The supply of wind energy is difficult to schedule accurately due to wind's fluctuating nature." Helping grid operators compensate for such fluctuations is a main thrust of the project. GE's technical experts will work with industry experts assembled by the California Energy Commission's Public Interest Energy Research (PIER) program and the California Wind Energy Collaborative to complete the study. The project will be funded by PIER. A similar study in New York, completed by GE last year, is seen as a precedent setting landmark for renewable power planning throughout the US. GE Energy supplied some 60% of all wind turbines installed in the US last year. California is the nation's leader with 2150 MW of installed wind capacity through 2005.
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