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Resources 2015, 4(2), 378-383; doi:10.3390/resources4020378

Wind Resource Quality Affected by High Levels of Renewables

National Renewable Energy Laboratory, 15013 Denver West Pkwy, RSF 300, Golden, CO 80401, USA
Academic Editor: Simon J. Watson
Received: 4 March 2015 / Revised: 4 June 2015 / Accepted: 12 June 2015 / Published: 17 June 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Spatial and Temporal Variation of the Wind Resource)
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Abstract

For solar photovoltaic (PV) and wind resources, the capacity factor is an important parameter describing the quality of the resource. As the share of variable renewable resources (such as PV and wind) on the electric system is increasing, so does curtailment (and the fraction of time when it cannot be avoided). At high levels of renewable generation, curtailments effectively change the practical measure of resource quality from capacity factor to the incremental capacity factor. The latter accounts only for generation during hours of no curtailment and is directly connected with the marginal capital cost of renewable generators for a given level of renewable generation during the year. The Western U.S. wind generation is analyzed hourly for a system with 75% of annual generation from wind, and it is found that the value for the system of resources with equal capacity factors can vary by a factor of 2, which highlights the importance of using the incremental capacity factor instead. The effect is expected to be more pronounced in smaller geographic areas (or when transmission limitations imposed) and less pronounced at lower levels of renewable energy in the system with less curtailment. View Full-Text
Keywords: renewable energy; curtailment; capacity factor renewable energy; curtailment; capacity factor
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Diakov, V. Wind Resource Quality Affected by High Levels of Renewables. Resources 2015, 4, 378-383.

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