Carnegie Mellon University
Energy Storage on the Grid and the Short-term Variability of Wind.pdf (5.41 MB)

Energy Storage on the Grid and the Short-term Variability of Wind

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posted on 2012-08-01, 00:00 authored by Eric Stephen Hittinger

Wind generation presents variability on every time scale, which must be accommodated by the electric grid. Limited quantities of wind power can be successfully integrated by the current generation and demand-side response mix but, as deployment of variable resources increases, the resulting variability becomes increasingly difficult and costly to mitigate. In Chapter 2, we model a co-located power generation/energy storage block composed of wind generation, a gas turbine, and fast-ramping energy storage. A scenario analysis identifies system configurations that can generate power with 30% of energy from wind, a variability of less than 0.5% of the desired power level, and an average cost around $70/MWh.

While energy storage technologies have existed for decades, fast-ramping grid-level storage is still an immature industry and is experiencing relatively rapid improvements in performance and cost across a variety of technologies. Decreased capital cost, increased power capability, and increased efficiency all would improve the value of an energy storage technology and each has cost implications that vary by application, but there has not yet been an investigation of the marginal rate of technical substitution between storage properties. The analysis in chapter 3 uses engineering-economic models of four emerging fast-ramping energy storage technologies to determine which storage properties have the greatest effect on cost-of-service. We find that capital cost of storage is consistently important, and identify applications for which power/energy limitations are important.

In some systems with a large amount of wind power, the costs of wind integration have become significant and market rules have been slowly changing in order to internalize or control the variability of wind generation. Chapter 4 examines several potential market strategies for mitigating the effects of wind variability and estimate the effect that each strategy would have on the operation and profitability of wind farms. We find that market scenarios using existing price signals to motivate wind to reduce variability allow wind generators to participate in variability reduction when the market conditions are favorable, and can reduce short-term (30-minute) fluctuations while having little effect on wind farm revenue.




Degree Type

  • Dissertation


  • Electrical and Computer Engineering

Degree Name

  • Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Jay Whitacre,Jay Apt

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