IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - November/December 2017 - 23

By Aaron Bloom, Udi Helman, Hannele Holttinen,
Kate Summers, Jordan Bakke, Gregory Brinkman,
and Anthony Lopez
tenfold increase in wind capacity, and Denmark is planning to
obtain 50% of its electricity from wind by 2020.
California Independent System Operator's (CAISO's) initial
2007 20% renewable portfolio standard integration study found
that it was technically feasible but suggested significant increases
in frequency regulation and load-following requirements and
potential overgeneration with approximately 7-8 GW of wind
and under 1 GW of solar. Today, CAISO successfully integrates
almost 5 GW of wind and more than 10 GW of new solar in
addition to the more than 6 GW of behind-the-meter
photovoltaic (PV) affecting the load shape. In
2016, according to the California Energy
Commission, the full California power
system had approximately 24 GW of
in-state renewable generation, representing all types and serving approximately
27% of annual electricity consumption.
Table 1 shows recent records for wind
and solar integration in North America,
Europe, and Australia.
The ability to integrate thousands of
megawatts of generation from wind and solar
has not been accomplished by accident. Along the way,
system planners and grid operators have called on tools
and techniques used to manage peak days, low demand,
and daily variations in demand to unlock the flexibility of
modern power systems. For example, previous experience using weather data to forecast load has been part of

utilities' unit commitment process for decades. This made it
relatively easy for system operators to implement wind and
solar forecasts into operations. By leveraging old tools in
new ways, many systems have been able to accommodate
penetration levels of more than 20% annually.
In Denmark, the key to successfully integrating wind and
solar has been the use of interconnectors to neighboring countries. Trading electricity with neighbors enables countries to
more efficiently balance supply and demand and, in this case,
to reach local penetration levels of more than 20% annually.
In Portugal and Spain, the use of online information of all
renewable power plants has complemented the somewhat limited use of interconnectors. When large interconnectors with
neighboring systems are not available, new techniques and
methods are being developed to reach instantaneous penetration levels of 75% asynchronous generation. The small island
system of Ireland regularly receives 40-60% of its generation
from wind and is solving stability issues to allow 75% instant
penetration levels of asynchronous generation. In South Australia, the key has been subhourly, real-time electricity markets to dispatch the system and match supply and demand
within 5-min time frames; the same is done in most parts
of the United States.
Fast-responding natural gas and hydropower
plants' demand response, renewables forecasting,
and pumped storage have been used to efficiently
and reliably add wind and solar to electric power
systems at a scale that caught many in the industry

table 1. The wind and solar penetration level records for various regions.

Region

Country

Instantaneous Penetration
of Asynchronous Generation
as a Percentage of Load

CAISO

United States

49% (2017)

27% (2016)

46,232 (2016)

Denmark

Denmark

140% (2015)

42% (2015)

6,000 (2013)

EirGrid

Ireland

60% (2017)

22% (2016)

4,700 (2016)

Electric Reliability
Council of Texas

United States

50% (2017)

15% (2016)

71,000 (2016)

MISO

United States

22% (2016)

8% (2016)

120,700 (2016)

Portugal

Portugal

105% (2016)

23% (2015)

8,300 (2015)

South Australia Grid

Australia

119% (2016)

35% (2016)

2,895 (2016)

Southwest Power Pool

United States

52% (2017)

14% (2015)

50,083 (2016)

november/december 2017

Annual Penetration of
Asynchronous Generation
as a Percentage of Load

Peak Load (MW)

ieee power & energy magazine

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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - November/December 2017

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