BPA Curtails Another 10 GWh Of Wind Energy Generation On Northwest Grid

May 2, 2012 by  
Filed under Green Energy News

The Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) curtailed wind power generation again during the early morning hours of April 29 and 30, when rising runoff and high wind caused oversupply on BPA’s system.

BPA displaced about 4.3 GWh of wind energy generation for several hours on the morning of April 29, and about 5.8 GWh on the morning of April 30. The agency says it applied its new oversupply management protocol for the first time, temporarily replacing the output of thermal and wind power generators in its balancing area with hydropower.

The protocol states that BPA will reimburse generators for the value of lost production tax credits and renewable energy credits and certain costs related to contracts. Under the protocol, generators with the lowest cost are displaced first.

The agency says it is taking a number of measures to avoid impacts on wind energy generators, including the following:

Curtailing available thermal generation first. Thermal generation will be curtailed before any wind energy generation is ordered to stop producing.

Using a new product called “capacity recallable energy.” This tool is designed to manage the large seasonal amounts of energy sometimes caused by the combination of high water and high wind. The product allows BPA to have another utility or power producer in another system to provide balancing reserves that offset the ups and downs of wind energy, maintaining the critical balance between electricity supply and demand. That, in turn, lets BPA produce hydroelectricity that otherwise would be held in reserve and helps it control dissolved gases without asking a thermal or renewable energy source to reduce or cut its output.

Engaging in “spill exchanges” involving the federal hydroelectric system and other partners. According to BPA, these exchanges have helped reduce the risk of oversupply and potential impacts on wind generators. BPA says it has acquired 61.5 GWh under the Mid-Columbia Spill Exchange agreement, which allows more spill at the Mid-C dams and more generation at the Grand Coulee and Chief Joseph dams. It has also coordinated spill on the Willamette hydro projects for additional relief.

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