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The economics of storage, transmission and drought: integrating variable wind power into spatially separated electricity grids

  • Scorah, Hugh
  • Sopinka, Amy
  • van Kooten, G. Cornelis

To mitigate the high variability of wind and make it a more viable renewable energy source, observers recommend greater integration of spatially-separated electrical grids, with high transmission lines linking load centers, scattered wind farms and hydro storage sites. In this study, we examine the economics of integrating large-scale wind energy into a grid characterized by fossil fuel thermal generation (Alberta) that is only weakly linked to one characterized by hydroelectric assets and the ability to store power behind hydro dams (British Columbia). We use a mathematical programming model to investigate the impact of increasing the capacity of the transmission link between the two disparate grids, which has not been done previously, and thereby shedding light on the issue of greater grid integration as a means of addressing intermittent renewable power. We find that, as wind capacity increases, costs of reducing CO2 emissions fall with increased transmission capacity between the grids, although this does not hold in all cases. Costs of reducing CO2 emissions are lowest during periods of drought. Over all scenarios, emission reduction costs vary between $20 and $60/t of CO2.

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File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S014098831100274X
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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Energy Economics.

Volume (Year): 34 (2012)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
Pages: 536-541

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Handle: RePEc:eee:eneeco:v:34:y:2012:i:2:p:536-541
DOI: 10.1016/j.eneco.2011.10.021
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/eneco

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  1. Linda Wong, 2009. "Linking Matlab and GAMS: A Supplement," Working Papers 2009-03, University of Victoria, Department of Economics, Resource Economics and Policy Analysis Research Group.
  2. G. Cornelis van Kooten, 2009. "Wind Power: The Economic Impact of Intermittency," Working Papers 2009-04, University of Victoria, Department of Economics, Resource Economics and Policy Analysis Research Group.
  3. DeCarolis, Joseph F. & Keith, David W., 2006. "The economics of large-scale wind power in a carbon constrained world," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(4), pages 395-410, March.
  4. Dua, Mohit & Manwell, James F. & McGowan, Jon G., 2008. "Utility scale wind turbines on a grid-connected island: A feasibility study," Renewable Energy, Elsevier, vol. 33(4), pages 712-719.
  5. Denault, Michel & Dupuis, Debbie & Couture-Cardinal, Sébastien, 2009. "Complementarity of hydro and wind power: Improving the risk profile of energy inflows," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(12), pages 5376-5384, December.
  6. van Kooten, G. Cornelis & Wong, Linda, 2010. "Economics of wind power when national grids are unreliable," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(4), pages 1991-1998, April.
  7. Belanger, Camille & Gagnon, Luc, 2002. "Adding wind energy to hydropower," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 30(14), pages 1279-1284, November.
  8. Lennart Soder & Hannele Holttinen, 2008. "On methodology for modelling wind power impact on power systems," International Journal of Global Energy Issues, Inderscience Enterprises Ltd, vol. 29(1/2), pages 181-198.
  9. Pablo Benitez & Lilianna Dragulescu & G. Cornelis van Kooten, 2006. "The Economics of Wind Power with Energy Storage," Working Papers 2006-02, University of Victoria, Department of Economics, Resource Economics and Policy Analysis Research Group.
  10. Maddaloni, Jesse D. & Rowe, Andrew M. & van Kooten, G. Cornelis, 2008. "Network constrained wind integration on Vancouver Island," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 591-602, February.
  11. Lund, Henrik, 2005. "Large-scale integration of wind power into different energy systems," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 30(13), pages 2402-2412.
  12. Ryan Prescott & G. Cornelis Van Kooten, 2009. "Economic costs of managing of an electricity grid with increasing wind power penetration," Climate Policy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 9(2), pages 155-168, January.
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