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Reply #28: You don't understand 'spinning reserves' at all [View All]

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muriel_volestrangler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-17-09 07:58 AM
Response to Reply #24
28. You don't understand 'spinning reserves' at all
The conclusion that large amounts of wind energy can be added to the grid with only minimal increases in the use of reserves is supported by the experience of grid operators in European countries with large amounts of wind energy, as well as the results of a number of wind integration studies in the U.S. The table below summarizes the results of some of these studies.


Because wind energy output adds almost no variability on the minute-to-minute time scale, very large amounts of wind energy can be added to the grid with virtually no impact on the use of spinning reserves. While modest amounts of wind energy have very little impact on the systems hour-to-hour variability, as the amount of wind increases, it may be necessary to add non-spinning reserves to accommodate the more gradual changes in electricity supply caused by wind energy. Fortunately, as explained above, non-spinning reserves produce far fewer emissions than spinning reserves.

The following example further illustrates that the net emissions effect of any additional reserves to accommodate wind energy is inconsequential:

"On average, adding 3 MW of wind energy to the U.S. electric grid would reduce the emissions from fossil power plants by 1,200 pounds of CO2 per hour. Adding this amount of wind would at most require anywhere from 0 to 0.01 MW of additional spinning reserves, and 0 to 0.07 MW of non-spinning reserves. It is likely that these reserves would be provided by zero-emission hydroelectric resources, but even under the worst-case scenario that an inflexible fossil fuel plant with an efficiency penalty of 1.5% must be used for reserves and that all of the non-spinning reserves would actually be activated, the increase in emissions would still be less than 1 pound of CO2. Even under this worst-case scenario, the emissions savings of wind energy (1,200 pounds) would outweigh the added emissions (less than 1 pound) by a factor of 1,000."
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