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Wind power generation in the US is surging at an unprecedented pace, primarily due to an abundance of wind resource and a favorable political environment. Consequently transmission providers are inundated with requests for interconnection of proposed windfarms. Windfarms are typically located remote from the load centers thereby requiring massive transmission lines to transport this power. The sheer volume and interdependencies of interconnection requests has made interconnection planning studies increasingly complex. Moreover, windfarms can be constructed in a relatively shorter amount of time compared to the time required to construct high voltage transmission lines. Consequently, managing system operation is getting equally complex due to the fact that these windfarms connect to the transmission system using special protection systems and requiring special operating procedures, even before required facility upgrades are built. The variable nature of the wind generation further complicates system operation. This paper presents some of the challenges faced by the Midwest ISO in handling wind generation under the interconnection planning processes and real-time operations. In addition, various recent initiatives that the Midwest ISO is working on to facilitate reliable integration of wind generation in the Midwest ISO footprint are briefly discussed.
Date of Conference: 26-30 July 2009