Bonneville Power Administration builds wind integration pilot program

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Portland, Ore., September 22, 2010 — Iberdrola Renewables, Constellation Energy and the Bonneville Power Administration launched a pilot program to allow Iberdrola to supply the reserve electricity needed to support about 1,100 MW of fluctuating output from wind farms.

In the pilot program, Iberdrola has committed more than 600 MW of natural gas-fired power and hydropower via its Klamath Cogeneration Plant (with its adjacent gas peaking units) and hydropower from a nearby public power agency.

Iberdrola may also use wind power to offset generation from TransAlta Corp.’s Centralia coal-fired facility.

The program will be controlled and monitored from a 24-hour command center in Houston, operated by Constellation Energy.

This latest pilot program is just one of several similar programs the federal utility is spearheading. In another program with Calpine Corp., BPA can request that Calpine reduce generation from its 75 MW natural gas-fired Hermiston Power Plant during times when wind power is plentiful.

The BPA currently hosts about 3,011 MW of wind power on its grid. The most recent addition to BPA’s wind portfolio came with the activation of Portland General Electric’s Biglow Canyon wind farm near Wasco, Oregon.

BPA interconnects wind power plants in the Columbia River Basin with its transmission system as part of its role as an open access transmission provider. The agency provides backup reserves for wind output as a transmission service. The wind projects are owned by utilities and independent power producers.

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The Clarion Energy Content Team is made up of editors from various publications, including POWERGRID International, Power Engineering, Renewable Energy World, Hydro Review, Smart Energy International, and Power Engineering International. Contact the content lead for this publication at

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