AWEA hosts utilities and wind power seminar

In conjunction with its Fall Symposium, the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) is holding a pre-conference seminar Nov. 17 on the key issues facing electric utilities as they integrate more wind power into their systems.

Attendees will explore the latest issues from utility perspectives related to wind power.  The agenda will cover such topics as new business models and strategic partnerships for developing wind projects, as well as operations and maintenance issues associated with wind projects.  

Separate registration is required for the seminar, which is scheduled the day before the AWEA Wind Energy Fall Symposium at the Sheraton Wild Horse Pass Resort & Spa in Phoenix, Ariz.  AWEA estimates that over 500 wind energy professionals will attend the symposium.

Report assesses electric vehicle integration with grid

Electric cars are a hot topic and a big question mark for utilities. Now a report from KEMA, Inc. and Taratec Corporation aims to provide a few answers.

Assessment of Plug-in Electric Vehicle Integration with ISO/RTO Systems examines products and services PEVs could provide under existing market and reliability structures of the North American independent system operators (ISO) and regional transmission organizations (RTO). Researchers focused on identifying programs that could be implemented in the near term, such as regulating PEV battery charging as a demand resource.

The project team estimates that one million PEVs could be deployed in North America within the next five to 10 years. Based on historic sales of the Toyota Prius, the highest concentration of vehicles would be on the West Coast and in the Northeast. The report states that the wholesale energy price impact of those cars ranges from negligible up to 10 percent, depending on the region, available resources and load (both time of day and day of the year). The greatest impact would likely be if lots of PEVs were to charge their batteries at the same time on a day when energy use in the region is already high.

Utilities might be able to mitigate the potential problem of price impacts from PEV charging by implementing price mechanisms such as dynamic pricing, special tariffs or managed charging. These steps would reduce charging over a higher demand, concentrated time period, such as late afternoons in the summer. Also, ISO/RTO systems need to change market rules and invest in IT infrastructure to effectively integrate PEV resources into the existing grid, according to the report.

Overall, vehicle electrification in North America presents power providers with a challenge while also offering unique opportunities. The report concludes that experience with smart grid technologies and using load as a resource in tandem with testing and demonstrations will be invaluable in preparing for the unique changes predicted to arrive.

Are there electric vehicles already in use in your territory? What is your utility doing to prepare for PEVs?

Read about Energy Services Manager Ron Horstman’s test drive of the new all-electric Ford Focus in the September Energy Services Bulletin.