Like solar, wind is an abundant, renewable energy source and occurs when the earth’s surface is evenly heated by solar radiation. Compared to a solar system, wind towers have a much greater energy density, meaning that they can generate considerably more energy using the same footprint.
In 2016, wind accounted for approximately five and one-half percent of total electricity generation in the United States. The growth of wind generated power has largely been fueled by a combination of federal and state tax credits, grants and loan programs (DSIRE). 2016 was a record year for wind energy development in the United States as indicated by the American Wind Energy Association.
Intermittency coupled with the lack of robust transmission and distribution systems nationwide, is the main reason solar and wind power generation have not been adopted as the world’s primary energy source. Since wind-generated energy is only produced when the wind is blowing, traditional thermal power generation, which includes coal, nuclear, natural gas, geothermal, hydroelectric or other power generation must be maintained and running in reserve to provide continuous, uninterrupted grid power.
As more intermittent or unpredictable energy is added to the grid, fast-reacting generation is required to provide continuous, reliable grid power. Utility companies and independent power producers must adequately balance renewable and traditional generation to maintain grid stability.
Pine Creek Power Systems is currently not a large-scale wind developer, however, has previously used wind power generation in several distributed power and Microgrid projects. These wind towers have been typically below 1 MW in size and from manufacturers such as Northern Power Systems.
The renewable-based power systems designed, constructed and operated by Pine Creek Power Systems use an IntelligentRE™ with a cloud-based data repository to monitor and control the power system. The blends power flows from renewable sources such as solar, biomass and wind, coupled with battery storage and traditional thermal generation, to minimize power curtailment by commanding an optimal balance between power generation, energy storage, major grid assets, and where appropriate, imported grid energy costs and exported grid energy revenues.