An Advanced Study of Wind Power Variability on the Federal Columbia River Power System

Renewable energy, particularly wind power, has increased dramatically over the past two decades. In the Pacific Northwest, the power system has accommodated a large amount of new wind power. The variability of wind power has introduced many challenges, requiring additional reserve generation to be available to maintain system stability. The primary source for reserves is the Federal Columbia River Power System, and the aging dams of this system are believed to be near their limit for providing this service. This paper will explore the dynamics of the power system as a whole, and investigate the relationships that wind power has to the rest of the power system. Several types of studies have been used to examine these relationships including Maximal Information Coefficient analysis, Correlation analysis, and Regression analysis. The results of these analyses demonstrate that the dynamics of the power system changed as wind power was added to the system. The results will also show that the power system is increasingly reliant on resources other than hydropower, including thermal power and interties to California and Canada, to provide balancing reserves for wind power.