An unlikely animal is the new face of renewable energy in the US. The “duck” curve illustrates the load shape some grid operators expect to contend with as increasing levels of wind and solar resources create ramping challenges for conventional generation.

In a webinar held by The Clean Energy States Alliance RPS Collaborative on Friday, May 9, 2014,  RAP senior advisor Jim Lazar discusses 10 readily available low-carbon strategies that policymakers, regulators, and utilities can use to adapt to high penetrations of variable renewables and flatten the load curve. These strategies not only enable greater renewable integration, they also enhance system reliability, as well as reduce capital and fuel costs by moving the “duck” into its more flattened, streamlined flying position.

As Mr. Lazar demonstrates, the resulting load is easier to serve than the projected load would have been, even without the addition of renewable resources—a desirable outcome for almost any electric utility system, including those without significant renewable energy deployment issues.

This presentation is based on the publication Teaching the Duck to Fly.