Costs for wind and solar resources (including the effect of tax incentives and subsidies) have declined to levels competitive with most conventional power supply options. The power industry is continuing to evolve, with renewable energy representing the majority of new generation being constructed. At the same time, environmental requirements on coal power plants, and low natural gas prices are contributing to the retirement of older conventional coal-fired generation. Renewable resources can provide a partial replacement of these resources, but the non-dispatchability of renewables poses a risk that needs to be managed with power supply resources that can be dispatched to meet the load. This article provides guidance on planning for the economic integration of new large centralized renewable and energy storage systems, as well as distributed systems into power supply portfolio and future grid system planning.

Value to Electric Cooperatives

This article helps cooperative planners understand the basic fundamentals of renewable energy costs, tax impacts, and the various options for obtaining renewable energy. Also discussed is how those renewable energy resources will best integrate into the power supply portfolio and how to manage the inherent risks of investing in or committing to new generation.


Engineering, Operations, Portfolio Management