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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 – Ancillary Services from Wind and Solar Power Plants

I think wind and solar power plants are finally coming into their own.  What do I mean by a power plant?  I mean a plant that can accept dispatch signals from the system operator, participate in AGC, ride through system voltage and frequency disturbances, and supply the full range of ancillary services required for system reliability that we have come to expect from any power plant on the system, i.e. automatic voltage control, governor response, and inertial response.  For those of you who follow NERC activities, you will recognize the ancillary services as a part of the NERC Essential Reliability Services Task Force (ERSTF) initiative.  The essential reliability services fall into two buckets; voltage control and frequency control.

Many people have expressed concern that the system will be less reliable in the future, because VG plants are not able to supply the full range of ancillary services that fossil plants do.  Some even go so far as to say that fossil plants inherently provide essential reliability services, because they have synchronous machines.  Let us examine these arguments one step at a time.

First, let’s take a look at the ancillary services supplied by a modern wind or solar plant.  For a wind plant, we will be talking about a plant with Type 3 (doubly fed asynchronous) or Type 4 (full converter output) machines.  Any modern plant with Type 3 or Type 4 machines comes with an automatic voltage regulator on it, just as a synchronous machine does.  There is no issue about what a plant with an AVR can do.  Except that a modern wind or solar plant can continue to provide VAr support to the system, even when the plant is not operating.  As for inertial response and governor response, a synchronous inertial response is provided by a synchronous machine, and it can be emulated by a wind plant with a fast frequency (synthetic inertia) response.  This is the only inherent essential reliability service provided by a synchronous machine.  As for governor response, a wind plant has an electronic governor that can provide a governor response equal to or better than any synchronous machine.  The only issue here is that the frequency response features cost money to activate, and most jurisdictions do not require them in their interconnection requirements, so most developers do not purchase or provide them.

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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, sandy@variablegen.org. Note that only those members that own/operate wind or solar generation can participate in the O&M listserv.

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