Ancillary Costs

Wind farms, especially as they become a larger percentage of the generation capacity on the grid, pose other costs for the utility. The variability of wind can increase operating costs, such as committing unneeded generation, scheduling unneeded generation, allocating extra load-following capability, violating system performance criteria, and increasing cycling operation on other generators. Estimates of these costs are $0.001-0.005/kWh [8] or even up to 0.0185/kWh. The wind integration impact becomes more significant at higher wind penetration into the grid.

In 2008, the Montana Public Service Commission set a rate up to $0.00565/MWh for integrated wind power into the Northwestern Energy utility from the Two Dot wind farm. The integration rate is then subtracted from the amount Northwestern Energy would pay the wind farm for power, which would reduce the utility payment for wind-generated electricity to as low as $44.25/MWh.

Renewable Energy 101

Renewable Energy 101

Renewable energy is energy that is generated from sunlight, rain, tides, geothermal heat and wind. These sources are naturally and constantly replenished, which is why they are deemed as renewable. The usage of renewable energy sources is very important when considering the sustainability of the existing energy usage of the world. While there is currently an abundance of non-renewable energy sources, such as nuclear fuels, these energy sources are depleting. In addition to being a non-renewable supply, the non-renewable energy sources release emissions into the air, which has an adverse effect on the environment.

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