UWIG Update

January 2012

In this issue

This publication is being sent to individuals from UWIG member organizations as well as nonmembers to inform you about UWIG activities, meetings, and news. If you do not wish to continue receiving this publication, please send e-mail to info@uwig.org. If there are others within your organization who would like to receive the UWIG Update, please send e-mail to info@uwig.org.


UWIG Announces Scope Expansion, Name Change

The Utility Wind Integration Group (UWIG) announced October 26 that it is expanding its focus to include solar generation. The UWIG Board of Directors voted to formally enact this expansion at its Board meeting October 12, also voting to change the name of the organization to the Utility Variable-Generation Integration Group (UVIG).

In an announcement to attendees of UWIG’s Fall Technical Workshop in Lahaina, Hawaii as well as a letter sent to the membership, Board President Henry Durrwachter noted that the expansion is in response to requests from UWIG member organizations to explore solar integration topics as well as those relating to wind. "Wind and solar are both generation sources with variable output and many of our utility members are seeing significant amounts of both connecting to their systems. It makes sense for UWIG to undertake this expansion and for a name change that will reflect it. We feel that the term 'variable generation' addresses the themes of variability and uncertainty common to wind and solar energy, as well as emerging renewable technologies such as wave and hydrokinetic power. Incorporating it in our name will enable us to accommodate future expansion of our technical scope while retaining a good portion of the UWIG name and brand."

Durrwachter noted that UWIG had taken a significant step already in expanding its scope, establishing a solar integration user group and putting on its second solar integration workshop October 11 in partnership with the U.S. Department of Energy, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, and Sandia National Laboratories.

According to UWIG Executive Director Charlie Smith, the target for complete changeover to the new name and organizational identity will be December 2012: “In addition to obvious needs such as a revamp of our web site and marketing materials, we recognize that we will need to undertake a concerted effort to educate our members and stakeholders in the utility, wind, and solar industries about our scope expansion and new name.”

Registration Open for Variable Generation Forecasting Workshop

For the fifth year in a row, UWIG is conducting a workshop on Variable Generation Forecasting Applications to Utility Planning and Operations. This multi-day workshop will be held at the Westin La Paloma in Tucson, Ariz. February 8-9, 2012. The workshop, which traditionally has focused on wind forecasting, will also include solar power production forecasting.

Additional details on this event can be found at http://www.uwig.org/tusforework.html. Registration is open to employees of UWIG member organizations and invited guests. Requests for the registration link should be sent to sandy@uwig.org. Please note that the room block at the Westin expires January 16.

DOE and NOAA are convening several meetings before and after the workshop to gain input on federal R&D and collaborative activities in support of renewable energy forecasting. Workshop attendees are invited to participate in a meeting Tuesday afternoon, February 7, to learn about DOE-NOAA collaboration to address weather-dependent renewable energy resource characterization needs, with a particular focus on forecasting and developing an effective and focused R&D strategy. After the workshop, DOE and NOAA are hosting a wind forecasting R&D wrap up session on Thursday evening from 6:30 to 8:30 pm to gain input while new insights from the workshop are still fresh. On Friday morning from 8:30 to 12:30 on February 10, a meeting is being held to gain input on the solar forecasting Request for Information recently released by DOE. Information on these events can be found on the UWIG web site.

UWIG Co-Sponsors Distributed Wind/Solar Interconnection Workshop

In partnership with the American Public Power Association, National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, Western Area Power Administration, U.S. Department of Energy Wind and Water Power Program, U.S. Department of Energy Solar Energy Technologies Program, and U.S. Department of Energy Tribal Energy Program, UWIG is putting on a Distributed Wind/Solar Interconnection Workshop to be held February 22-24, 2012 at Western’s Electric Power Training Center in Golden, Colo. The workshop will prominently feature UWIG’s online DG Evaluation Toolbox, which enables engineers to analyze the impacts of these types of variable generation on utility distribution networks.

A number of the workshop’s sessions will be made available for remote participation via webinar.

The workshop will also offer tours of Western’s Electric Power Training Center and an optional virtual tour of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory Energy Systems Integration Facility. For more information on the agenda, accommodations, and registration, please visit http://www.uwig.org/interconnectionworkshop2012.html

Application Process for 2012-2013 UWIG Scholarships Open, Ends in February

UWIG has expanded its scholarship program for students working towards careers in the electric power and wind industries, as well as expanded financial assistance to students interested in attending UWIG events.

The UWIG Board of Directors voted in September to revise its scholarship policy enabling UWIG to support the education of students enrolled in accredited college or vocational schools in programs related to power engineering, wind energy, or the maintenance of wind turbines. To be eligible for scholarship assistance, a student must be currently enrolled at a school or college in a field of study that could lead to a career related to utility power engineering or operation and maintenance of utility-scale wind equipment. These scholarships and stipends are intended to encourage completion of a college education or vocational programs as well as to further the education of students.

UWIG may award up to five scholarships each year. Up to three $2,000 scholarships will be granted to students enrolled in an accredited engineering school who are pursuing a career in power engineering with a focus or major on wind or renewable generation and up to two $1,000 scholarships to students enrolled in an accredited wind technician program. The UWIG Board will determine the winner of each scholarship based on grade point average, references/ recommendations and a short essay explaining why the student is pursuing a career related to wind generation. The recipients of these scholarships will be made at UWIG’s Annual Membership Meeting in April.

The UWIG Board also plans to award up to 20 educational stipends each year to provide financial assistance to students wishing to attend a UWIG-sponsored meeting. The amount of the stipends may vary and will be set by the Board in consultation with UWIG staff.

UWIG is now accepting scholarship applications for the 2012-2013 academic term, with a deadline of February 17, 2012. Additional information about the application and selection process can be found at http://www.uwig.org/scholarshipprogram.html

Updated Summary of Status of Wind Power in North American Electricity Markets Released

UWIG has released an updated version of a summary table detailing markets and market rules for wind energy and capacity in North America. Capturing the state of markets as of October 2011, the document represents a significant updating of a table submitted by UWIG at the December 2004 FERC Technical Conference on Assessing the State of Wind Energy in Wholesale Electricity Markets that was subsequently updated in 2007 and addressed in a table summarizing forecasting programs in use by regional transmission organizations and utilities issued in 2009.

Some of the major findings are that every ISO/TSO and utility in North America that is integrating a large amount of wind power is using wind plant output forecasts to improve the reliable and economic operation of their system; wind plants are increasingly being allowed to bid in the day-ahead market, and if the marginal unit, to set price; and wind generation is increasingly being factored into the economic dispatch process.

The document was compiled by Jennifer Rogers and Kevin Porter of Exeter Associates with UWIG participation and NREL support, based on a survey covering PJM Interconnection, the New York Independent System Operator, ISO New England, the Ontario Independent System Operator, Midwest ISO, Southwest Power Pool, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, California Independent System Operator, Alberta Electric System Operator, Bonneville Power Administration and Xcel Energy. The table presents responses to a number of questions, with the more important ones noted below:

The document can be downloaded at http://www.uwig.org/windinmarketstableOct2011.pdf

IEEE Power & Energy Magazine on Wind Integration Published

UWIG worked with the IEEE Power & Energy Society to put together the November/ December 2011 issue of Power & Energy Magazine, which focuses on large-scale wind integration. UWIG Executive Director Charlie Smith and Brian Parsons of NREL served as co-guest-editors for this issue, which follows ones focusing on wind integration published in 2005, 2007, and 2009.

Information on this issue, with links to several of the articles, can be found at http://www.uwig.org/2011pandeissue.htm

Industry Events

 UWIG maintains a calendar of events focusing on wind, renewable energy, and electric power topics. It can be found on the UWIG web site.

UWIG Board of Directors

Henry Durrwachter, Luminant – President
Steve Beuning, Xcel Energy - Vice President
Gary Thompson, Nebraska Public Power District – Secretary
Brent Petrie, Alaska Village Electric Cooperative – Treasurer
Obadiah Bartholomy, Sacramento Municipal Utility District
Ty Bettis, Portland General Electric
Jay Caspary, Southwest Power Pool
Dale Osborn, Midwest Independent System Operator
Brad Reeve, Kotzebue Electric Association Inc.
Brian Skeahan, Cowlitz Public Utility District
Mary Ann Zehr, Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association

Daniel Brooks, Electric Power Research Institute
Tony Ingram, Edison Electric Institute
Michael Pehosh, National Rural Electric Cooperative Association
Michele Suddleson, American Public Power Association

Charlie Smith – Executive Director
Ed DeMeo – Technical Advisor
Brian Parsons, NREL – Technical Advisor
Sandy Smith – Conference and Communications Coordinator

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