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Duke Energy Announces Plans to Invest $30 Million to Install Two Battery Storage Projects in North Carolina

LCG, September 22, 2017--Duke Energy announced yesterday plans to invest $30 million in two new lithium-ion battery energy storage systems in North Carolina that are expected to be online in 2019. The two sites identified are the first of a larger company plan to deploy energy storage for the region, and further details regarding the two projects will be filed with the North Carolina Utilities Commission in early 2018.

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GM Announces Power Purchase Agreements for Renewable Energy from New Wind Farms in Ohio and Illinois

LCG, September 21, 2017--General Motors announced Tuesday long-term power purchase agreements (PPAs) for renewable energy from two wind farms with a combined electric generating capacity of 200 MW. The two new PPAs will allow for all of GM's Ohio and Indiana manufacturing facilities to meet their electricity needs with 100 percent renewable energy by the end of 2018. Last September, GM announced last September plans to generate or source all electrical power for its 350 operations in 59 countries with 100 percent renewable energy by 2050.

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Industry News

Southwest Power Pool Sets Wind Penetration Record of 52.1 Percent

LCG, February 15, 2017--Southwest Power Pool (SPP) announced earlier this week that it achieved a wind-penetration record of 52.1 percent at 4:30 a.m., February 12, when it became the first regional transmission organization (RTO) in North America to serve over 50 percent of its electric demand at a given time with wind energy. SPP set the previous RTO record of 49.2 percent on April 24, 2016.

The installed wind farm capacity and wind power generation in the SPP region has grown dramatically. Since the turn of the century, SPP's installed wind capacity has grown from a few hundred MW's to becoming the third most-prevalent fuel source in the SPP region. Wind capacity provided approximately 15 percent of SPP's generating capacity in 2016, exceeded only by natural gas and coal. Installed wind capacity increased in 2016 by 4,000 MW - from 12,000 MW to over 16,000 MW, and SPP's maximum simultaneous wind generation peak rose from 9,948 MW in 2015 to 12,336 MW in early 2016.

In concert with the installation of new wind farms, SPP has approved the construction of over 10 billion dollars in high-voltage transmission infrastructure over the last decade, with much of the construction designed to connect rural, isolated Midwestern wind farms to population centers hundreds of miles away.

SPP's Vice President of Operations stated, "Ten years ago, we thought hitting even a 25 percent wind-penetration level would be extremely challenging, and any more than that would pose serious threats to reliability. Since then, we've gained experience and implemented new policies and procedures. Now we have the ability to reliably manage greater than 50 percent wind penetration. It's not even our ceiling. We continue to study even higher levels of renewable, variable generation as part of our plans to maintain a reliable and economic grid of the future."

SPP's President and CEO said, "It's exciting to see the evolution of our efforts to maintain a reliable power grid. It allows for very different generation patterns than we've historically experienced. But for new day-ahead unit commitment procedures and market processes for managing congestion across a single balancing authority in fourteen states, these new records would not be possible."
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