Empirical Analysis of the Variability of Wind Generation in India: Implications for Grid Integration

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We analyze variability in load and wind generation in India to assess its implications for grid integration of large scale wind projects using actual wind generation and load data from two states in India, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. We compare the largest variations in load and net load (load –wind, i.e., load after integrating wind) that the generation fleet has to meet. In Tamil Nadu, where wind capacity is about 53% of the peak demand, we find that the additional variation added due to wind over the current variation in load is modest; if wind penetration reaches 15% and 30% by energy, the additional hourly variation is less than 0.5% and 4.5% of the peak demand respectively for 99% of the time. For wind penetration of 15% by energy, Tamil Nadu system is found to be capable of meeting the additional ramping requirement for 98.8% of the time. Potential higher uncertainty in net load compared to load is found to have limited impact on ramping capability requirements of the system if coal plants can me ramped down to 50% of their capacity. Load and wind aggregation in Tamil Nadu and Karnataka is found to lower the variation by at least 20% indicating the benefits geographic diversification. These findings suggest modest additional flexible capacity requirements and costs for absorbing variation in wind power and indicate that the potential capacity support (if wind does not generate enough during peak periods) may be the issue that has more bearing on the economics of integrating wind.

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