Tara Hicks Johnson - When combined with on-Oahu wind farms and solar energy, the Interisland Wind project planned to bring 400 megawatts (MW) of wind power from Molokai and Lanai to Oahu could reliably supply more than 25% of Oahu's projected electricity demand, according to the Oahu Wind Integration Study (OWIS).
For the purposes of the research project, the OWIS released today studied the impact on the Oahu grid of a total of 500 MW of wind energy and a nominal 100 MW of solar power, though a good deal more utility-scale and customer-sited solar power is expected on Oahu.
The study found that the 500 MW of wind and 100 MW of solar power could eliminate the need to burn approximately 2.8 million barrels of low sulfur fuel oil (LSFO) and 132,000 tons of coal each year while maintaining system reliability, if a number of recommendations are incorporated, including:
* Provide state-of-the-art wind power forecasting to help anticipate the amount of power that will be available from wind;
* Increase power reserves (the amount of power that can be called upon from operating generators) to help manage wind variability and uncertainty in wind power forecasts;
* Reduce minimum stable operating power of baseload generating units to provide more power reserves;
* Increase ramp rates (the time it takes to increase or decrease output) of Hawaiian Electric's thermal generating units;
* Implement severe weather monitoring to ensure adequate power generation is available during periods of higher wind power variability;
* Evaluate other resources capable of contributing reserve, such as fast-starting thermal generating units and load control programs.
The study notes that assuring reliability will require further studies, upgrades to existing and new infrastructure, as well as specific requirements on the wind farms to be connected to the Oahu system. With these and other proposed changes, the technical analysis suggests, Oahu can accommodate increased wind and solar projects with minimal limits on output of renewable resources.
The Oahu Wind Integration Study was conducted by the Hawaii Natural Energy Institute (HNEI) at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, General Electric (GE) Company and the Hawaiian Electric Company (HECO). The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), part of the U.S. Department of Energy (US DOE), assembled a technical review committee with representatives of industry and academia which met throughout the project to review findings. NREL also contracted the private firm AWS Truepower to develop wind and solar power profiles that were used in the study. ...
via Wind and solar can reliably supply 25 percent of Oahu's electricity need, new study shows.