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About UVIG

The Utility Variable-Generation Integration Group, previously known as the Utility Wind Integration Group (UWIG), was established in 1989 to provide a forum for the critical analysis of wind and solar technology for utility applications and to serve as a source of credible information on the status of wind and solar technology and deployment.  The group’s mission is to accelerate the development and application of good engineering and operational practices supporting the appropriate integration and reliable operation of variable generation on the electric power system.

What's Going on at UVIG?

Did You Know – Impact of NERC Standards on Wind and Solar Plants

It can be easy to forget that there were no mandatory NERC reliability standards for anyone in the North American electric utility industry prior to June of 2007. There were policies, guidelines, and good utility practices, but no enforceable standards. The August 14, 2003 blackout resulted in the 2005 Energy Policy Act that, for the first time, authorized mandatory reliability standards in the United States (and the Canadian Provinces provided similar authorization). FERC certified NERC as the Electric Reliability Organization (ERO) in 2006 and approved 83 NERC Reliability Standards in March 2007, the first set of legally enforceable standards for the North American bulk power grid. Today there are 114 enforceable standards, but they are constantly being refined and extended.

Standards compliance is now a major consideration in the design and operation of all power plants, especially wind and solar. Compliance is especially difficult because the NERC standards are still developing, both because renewable generation technologies are still evolving and because the NERC standards themselves are also evolving. This gives some reason to hope that standards and compliance issues will get clearer in the future, but things will likely remain in flux for the next few years.

Wind and solar generation technologies are also maturing, as is the utility industry understanding of these technologies. In the 1980s, utilities required wind turbines to immediately trip if power system voltage or frequency deviated from the norm, so the unfamiliar technology would not make stressed conditions worse. As wind penetration increased, the industry realized that tripping additional generation during a disturbance might not always be a good idea. Interestingly, FERC’s solution was Order 661 (2005) which requires wind plants, and only wind plants, to ride through faults. So far, NERC has not imposed mandatory ride-through requirements on conventional generators.

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New and Cool

U.S. Department of the Interior Releases National Interactive Map of Onshore Wind Turbines

The U.S. Department of the Interior and U.S. Geological Survey have released the first publicly available interactive map and geo-dataset showing more than 47,000 onshore wind turbine locations and related information across the entire United States

The wind turbine map, which includes turbines installed as of July 2013, was created by combining publicly available data sets from the Federal Aviation Administration , the U.S. Energy Information Administration , the Oak Ridge National Laboratory , as well as other federal, state and local sources. USGS researchers also identified additional turbines not in those pre-existing databases and added them to the dataset and map. The locations of all turbines were visually verified using high-resolution imagery. The location of each turbine was verified to within plus or minus 10 meters, and its technical specifications were assigned based on the make and model.

To use the Interactive Map, click here.

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Why Join UVIG?

Featured Member Benefit

One of the key benefits of UVIG membership is participation in our User Groups. UVIG operates five topical user groups focused on specific areas of interest to its members:

  • Wind and Solar Plant Modeling and Interconnection
  • Operating Impact and Integration Studies
  • Distributed Generation Applications
  • Market Operation and Transmission Planning
  • Wind/Solar Plant Operations and Maintenance

These groups are open to all UWIG members (there are participation limitations for the O&M User Group). The concept is to gather together in one place all relevant information on that topical area, and make it easily available to the members. This information is housed in the member’s area of the site. Each user group has a listserv or mailing list that we use to distribute news, research reports, future events, and other information relevant to the user group’s scope. Because the User Groups cut across multiple groups within any company, we would like to encourage you to identify other individuals in your company who could benefit from participation in a User Group.  To subscribe yourself or others with your company to any of the user group listservs, please contact Sandy Smith, Note that only those members that own/operate wind or solar generation can participate in the O&M listserv.

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