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Total wind integration costs for different capacity penetrations


The dynamic nature of wind generation presents challenges to conventional electricity system operations. Sudden dips or spikes in power output can affect voltage regulation, while longer term fluctuations can make load-following difficult and require the use of additional reserve capacity.

These different studies show the range of additional incurred operating costs to integrate wind at various levels of capacity penetration in six different electricity markets. These costs are highly dependent on many factors besides just the penetration level, including the size of the balancing area, the reliance on wind forecasts, and the timeline for revising forecasts and/or revising unit-commitments. However, even with all of these differences, these studies show that integration costs are reasonably small—ranging from 0.1 to 1.0¢/kWh. That amount represents 1–14% of the total levelized busbar cost of wind electricity in 2010.


Acker, T. et al. 2007. Final Report: Arizona Publiuc Service Wind Integration Cost Impact Study. Northern Arizona University, September.

Electrotek Concepts. 2003. We Energies System Operations Impacts of Wind Generation Integration. Electrotek Concepts, Inc., March 10.

EnerNex Corporation. 2007. Final Report: Avista Corporation Wind Integration Study. EnerNex, March.

EnerNex Corporation, and Idaho Power. 2007. Operational Impacts of Integrating Wind Generation into Idaho Power’s Existing Resource Portfolio. EnerNex, October.

Pacificorp. 2010. Pacificorp 2010 Wind Integration Resource Study. Pacificorp, September 1.

WindLogics, Inc. 2006. Final Report: 2006 Minnesota Wind Integration Study Volume II - Characterizing the Minnesota Wind Resource. WindLogics, Inc., November 30.

Zavadil, R. M, and others. 2004. "Xcel Energy and the Minnesota Department of Commerce–Wind Integration Study–Final Report.” EnerNex and WindLogics Inc., September 28.

Zavadil, R.M. 2006. Final Report: Wind Integration Study for Public Service Company of Colorado. EnerNex, May 22.