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Two Wind Pilot Projects Launched

by Staff
BPA Journal, October 2010

Two pilot programs that could help BPA as more and more wind roars into its system were launched Sept. 1.

In the first pilot -- the Customer Supplied Generation Imbalance project -- wind power owner Iberdrola is fully responsible for providing its own generation imbalance reserves for the next year, freeing about 300 megawatts of federal system reserves for other uses.

Until now, wind power projects in BPA's transmission balancing area authority have relied entirely on federal hydropower to compensate for unscheduled swings in wind power output. BPA now reserves significant portions of federal hydro capacity to provide this service.

Getting to this point has taken more than two years. To make self-supply work, BPA and Iberdrola had to design, install and test communication protocols and telemetry, signaling systems, business and operating procedures. BPA also had to make sure it had the transmission capability to allow nonfederal resources on the transmission paths needed to back Iberdrola's power output.

The second pilot, a project with Calpine Corp., aims to make efficient use of federal hydropower resources and displace some natural gas-fired generation with carbon-free hydro while providing within-hour reserves to Northwest wind power projects.

BPA is buying up to 75 megawatts of reserve capacity from Calpine's natural gas-fired combined-cycle combustion turbine in Hermiston, Ore. When wind generation exceeds its schedule, BPA would normally back off hydro generation. Under the pilot, Calpine will instead back off its natural gas generation. BPA will in turn sell Calpine energy from the federal hydropower system to fulfill Calpine's energy delivery obligations. Calpine will pay BPA for this energy.

Two Wind Pilot Projects Launched
BPA Journal, October 2010

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