Most NW Wind Energy Continues Uninterruptedby Staff
BPA Journal, July 2011
Wind energy projects in the BPA system have curtailed 6.7 percent of their scheduled output since BPA began intermittent limits on coal, natural gas and other thermal and wind generation to help manage an oversupply of electricity during the highest Columbia River runoff in more than a decade.
BPA's interim environmental redispatch policy typically affected wind generation at night and on weekends when power demand dropped, according to an initial review of the first several weeks with the policy in place. The policy first took effect May 18 and continued as high water drove hydroelectric generation at Columbia River dams.
Most thermal generation in BPA's system has remained off-line in recent weeks. The Energy Information Administration recently reported that the Northwest this year has burned 68 percent less natural gas to generate electricity than last year.
Some increases in power demand, improved cooperation among utilities and other steps by BPA have helped mitigate the impact on wind generation in recent weeks. The curtailments will likely continue to decline as runoff eases, so the share of wind energy affected will be further reduced when considered over a full year.
Real-time data on generation in BPA's system and daily updates on environmental redispatch are available at www.bpa.gov.
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