The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced the release of a DOE-funded report to help better integrate wind energy into the electrical grid. The report, entitled "Strategies and Decision Support Systems for Integrating Variable Energy Resources in Control Centers for Reliable Grid Operations: Global Best Practices, Examples of Excellence and Lessons Learned," provides first-hand perspectives on the effects of variable energy sources, including wind power plants on grid operations. It also supplies grid operators with practical tools and information to help them tackle the challenge of integrating more renewable energy resources into the nation’s power grid.
Wind energy production has increased worldwide in the past two decades, growing from roughly 2 gigawatts in 1990 to almost 200 gigawatts in 2010 – enough to serve about 50 million U.S. homes. Accelerating the use of renewables will help reduce our reliance on fossil fuels and support job creation. But for systems operators, integrating large proportions of variable energy sources like wind power – which can vary with weather and season – into electricity grids presents some technical challenges.