U.S. Department of Energy


Date of this Version



Published in Subcontract Report NREL/ SR-550-47285 (2010) 41 p.


Wind generation is a source of electric energy that, in sufficient quantity, can cause concern for the operation of the bulk power system because of the variability and uncertainty of the wind. Most short-term planning and operational functions supporting the electric power grid are centered on supply resources that have capacity attributes – i.e. they can be dispatched (controlled up and down) to a specified power level for a specified period of time. The need to maintain very high levels of system reliability reinforces the preference in operations toward resources having capacity attributes. Wind generation usually has relatively low capacity value at system peak.

The characteristics of wind generation increase the variability of the net demand in the balancing area and the uncertainty about the net demand over operational planning horizons – e.g. next hour, next 24 hours beginning at midnight, etc. Managing a system with significant wind generation requires conventional resources to potentially “work a little harder”. Increased costs are a consequence of the additional duties performed by conventional generators.

Over the past decade, many “wind integration” studies have been performed to quantify the operational impacts of wind generation.

Wind generation resources in Nebraska will play an increasingly important role in the environmental and energy security solutions for the state and the nation. In a reference document entitled “Renewable Energy Background and Outlook for Nebraska Electricity Consumers”, the Nebraska Power Association utilities recognized the growing need for a specific study of wind generation in the state.

This Nebraska Statewide Wind Integration Study provides that initial study.