This paper explores how adding power flow devices incrementally to constrained transmission lines provides benefits to both wind generation developers and transmission owners. Capital is only spent when
it is necessary, generation developers can be charged incrementally, in-service dates can be accelerated and congestion can be relieved providing economic benefits to the region.
Utility scale wind deployments in the US have increased rapidly over the last decade and according to interconnection request data in various regions, additional deployments are expected. Renewable energy expansion subjects stakeholders, such as transmission owners (TOs) and generation developers, to uncertainty including schedule uncertainty, location uncertainty, financial uncertainty and operational uncertainty. These uncertainties are in addition to the greater uncertainty that TOs are facing compared to the era of vertically integrated utilities with coordinated transmission and generation planning. All of these factors impact the scope, timeline and cost of transmission expansion required to successfully interconnect and operate new wind generation customers. This paper reviews the challenges of wind interconnection from the TO’s perspective and discusses the possibility of employing scalable power flow control solutions on the existing transmission system in order to minimize this uncertainty in all four dimensions while also reducing or eliminating transmission congestion on existing transmission lines. Scalable power flow control allows transmission utilities to interconnect new generation customers in a flexible manner, bring generation online sooner and allocate costs to customers incrementally. Further, it can provide a cost effective way to minimize congestion that can result in curtailing wind generators during critical load periods.