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Utility-Scale Wind Power: Impacts of Increased Penetration (working paper)

By Lawrence Pitt, G. Cornelis van Kooten, Murray Love, and Ned Djilali, Resource and Environmental Economics and Policy Analysis (REPA) Research Group, Department of Economics, University of Victoria (British Columbia, Canada).

“The effective capacity credit for wind is difficult to generalize, as it is a highly site-specific quantity determined by the correlation between wind resource and load. Values range from 26% to 0% of rated capacity. …

“A distinctive feature of wind power is the signature of diminishing returns with increasing wind penetration, whether from the viewpoint of capacity displacement (amount of conventional plant retired by wind), CO2 displacement as a result of fuel displacement by wind, or estimates of payments to wind farms. …

“A serious effort to estimate the costs of integrating wind into a predominantly gas fired thermal system suggest the true costs are very high, mainly due to impacts on the thermal plant fuel consumption and the fact that there are fewer MWhs for the non-wind plant to recover costs.”

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