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In this paper, minute-to-minute wind power variations are decomposed into slow, fast, and ramp components to assess the influence of each component on power system operation. Using detailed, long-term simulation models, this paper confirms that most power systems can absorb the impacts of wind power variations with little difficulty. Yet, since ramps in wind power and system demand could coincide, systems with limited ramping capabilities are at risk. It is shown that extending simulation models to include load dynamics and automatic generation control (AGC) time delays do not alter these conclusions. This paper also discusses wind penetration approaches and control area performance measures, linking the latter to the placement of the wind farms within the interconnection.