United States

United States

NREL study finds 40% wind penetration is no problem

US: A wind integration study funded by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in the Southwest Power Pool (SPP) region found the area could 'reliably' obtain 40% of its energy from wind energy.

A Nebraskan wind farm in the Sandhills
A Nebraskan wind farm in the Sandhills

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The study, which focused on Nebraska, examined how the power system would operate in scenarios where 10%, 20% and 40% of electricity was supplied by wind energy. NREL claimed the 40% study as one of the highest penetration levels studied to date.

Additional costs to accommodate wind energy were found to be relatively modest although they varied according to the methodology used. One found costs ranging from $1.39 per MWh for 10% wind energy and $1.68 per MWh for 40%.

Carbon emissions fell by 25million tons when moving from the 10% scenario to 40%.

The SPP covers Kansas and Oklahoma, in addition to large parts of Nebraska, Texas, New Mexico, Missouri, Mississippi and Arkansas.

Executive Summary of the study

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