Intermittent availability of wind and solar power will require increased dispatch flexibility of conventional power plants to supply voltage support, frequency control, regulation and spinning reserves (ancillary services for regulation). Deep load follow ramp cycling and on/off state cycling will cause irreversible damage to conventional coal power plants. That damage must be managed to optimize unit reliability, fuel, variable O&M, emissions and maintenance capital investment costs. Wind Resources will play an important role in Xcel Energy’s future resource portfolio. The high levels of wind energy forecasted to be on line by 2020 will likely lead our utility to back down operations at some base load resources and require greater unit dispatch flexibility. These studies helped identify and estimate costs due to wear-and-tear caused by varying generating unit operation. The next step will involve optimizing total system costs using several solutions.

This content is only available via PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.