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U.S. Renewable Electricity: How Does Wind Generation Impact cCmpetitive Power Markets?
Phillip Brown (au)
U.S. wind power generation has experienced rapid growth in the last 20 years as total installed capacity has increased from 1,500 megawatts (MW) in 1992 to more than 50,000 MW in Aug. 2012. According to the Energy Information Admin. (EIA), wind power provided approx. 3% of total U.S. electricity generation in 2011. Two primary policies provide market and financial incentives that support the wind industry and have contributed to U.S. wind power growth: (1) production tax credit (PTC) -- a federal tax incentive of 2.2 cents for each kilowatt-hour (kWh) of electricity produced by a qualified wind project (set to expire for new projects at the end of 2012); and (2) renewable portfolio standards (RPS) -- state-level policies that encourage renewable power by requiring that either a certain percentage of electricity be generated by renewable energy sources or a certain amount of qualified renewable electricity capacity be installed. The focus of this report is the concentration of wind power projects within competitive power markets managed by regional transmission operators (RTOs). Three specific concerns explored in this report include: (1) How might wind power affect wholesale market clearing prices? (2) Does wind power contribute to negative wholesale power price events? and (3) Does wind power impact electric system reliability? Figures and tables. This is a print on demand report.
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