Welcome to Task 24 Summary Page

Integration of Wind and
Hydropower Systems

This Task is no longer active

National Renewable Energy Laboratory

Operating Agent Representative:
Tom Acker
Associate Professor, Mechanical Engineering
Northern Arizona University
College of Engineering and Natural Sciences
Sustainable Energy Solutions Group
Peterson Hall, Building 22, Bewaver Street
P.O. Box 15600
Flagstaff, Arizona 86011-5600

Cell: +1 928 607 6814
Voice: +1 928 523 8363
Fax: +1 928 523 2300
Email: Tom Acker
Web Site: Task 24 Integration of Wind Hydro Power Systems

About 450 GW of hydropower capacity is operating in the IEA Wind Member Countries along with approximately 92 GW of wind power capacity (2008). Because of the natural variability of wind power production and the inherent uncertainty in its prediction, integrating wind power into utility operations typically increases the amount of generation reserves required as well as the need for flexible, rapidly responding generation resources. Since hydropower is a generation resource that is generally quite flexible and able to provide reserves, many utilities are making use of these characteristics to help meet the balancing needs due to wind power. This approach raises many questions concerning economics, overall benefit to the electrical system, impacts on hydropower operations, and more. To address some of these questions, seven IEA Wind countries participated in Task 24 in 2008. A final report will be issued in 2009.

The specific objectives of the task are as follows:
To establish an international forum for exchange of knowledge, ideas, and experiences related to the integration of wind and hydropower technologies within electricity supply systems
To share information among participating members concerning grid integration, transmission issues, hydrological and hydropower impacts, markets and economics, and simplified modeling techniques.

To identify technically and economically feasible system configurations for integrating wind and hydropower, including the effects of market structure on wind-hydro system economics with the intention of identifying the most effective market structures.

Four types of case studies were conducted by the participants: grid integration, hydrologic impact, market and economics, and simplified modeling of wind-hydro integration potential. While many case studies may involve all four of these topics, some studies only addressed and shared information related to one or two. Each case study in the Final Report will address problem formulation and assumptions, analysis techniques, and results.

As the breadth of these case studies indicates, integrating wind and hydropower can be quite complex. Figure 1 provides a conceptual view of the relationships of wind, hydropower, and the transmission balancing area along with “surrounding” issues for a case study in the Southwestern United States.

Figure 1 Conceptual view of the relationships of wind power, hydropower, and the transmission control area, and the issues surrounding their integration.