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Specific regions and local networks can have trouble absorbing large amounts of wind power even when the integrated system as a whole can cope. Constraints on local wind penetration are site-specific, though some general guidelines apply. In Britain, the National Grid Company's criteria for taking up fluctuating sources of generation (main story) also include rules for local level penetration.

Among these, the size of a wind farm influences the minimum voltage at which a connection can be made to the network -- the higher the power, the higher the voltage. The largest projects will be sited offshore, however, and high voltage grid lines already exist in many coastal locations in Europe and elsewhere, since conventional power stations prefer coastal sites as they provide cooling water.

Particular problems may arise where the grid system already has to cope with substantial power transfers, such as the north-south flows in Britain and Germany. Local problems are eased, however, if renewable energy plant is well distributed.

New renewable energy installations also make best economic sense when placed reasonably close to consumer demands (Windpower Monthly, April 1998). But high concentrations of wind power in a single spot should be avoided as they would significantly increase the costs incurred by introducing uncertainty on a local grid. No major constraints on wind's continued growth will occur as long as wind plant are well distributed.

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