Experiences from Western US Grid: Integrating Renewables at Least Cost
RAP Senior Advisor Lisa Schwartz addressed the challenges of integrating renewables into the Western US Grid in a presentation to the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission and the Energy Regulatory Commission of Thailand. Her presentation highlighted the key topics of a paper RAP, in partnership with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and Exeter Associates, recently prepared for the Western Governors’ Association. The project explores approaches for reducing costs to integrate wind and solar in the Western U.S., barriers to adopting these cost-saving measures and possible state actions. Drawing from existing studies and experience to date, the paper identifies nine ways Western states could reduce integration costs – operational and market tools as well as flexible demand- and supply-side resources. Among other recommendations, Ms. Schwartz focused on ways to improve insititutional flexibility, explore demand response that complements variable generation, and develop a more flexible generating fleet.