Masters Thesis

PV integration in the Bonneville Power Administration balancing authority area

In this study I investigate the accuracy and necessity of the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) PV integration tariff, which was instituted in 2011. Note that, as of July 2012, BPA has not yet been responsible for integrating any PV generators onto its system. I use methods similar to those BPA uses to calculate its wind integration tariff. The temporal resolution of relevant solar insolation data within BPA’s balancing authority area (BAA) restricts the scope to following (10-minute) and imbalance (60-minute) balancing reserve requirements, while regulating (1-minute) reserves are not addressed. The following reserve component of BPA’s tariff comprises over 80% of the cost to PV generators. I find that, due to the integration of up to 100MW of PV generation, there is not a statistically discernible effect on BPA’s total following reserve requirements. For up to 200MW of PV generation, there is not a sound statistical basis for requiring PV generators to pay for a specific amount of following reserves. Further, the results demonstrate that for up to 50MW of PV generation, there is not a statistically discernible effect on BPA’s total imbalance reserve requirements. For up to 200MW of PV, there is not a statistical basis for requiring PV generators to pay for a specific amount of imbalance reserve requirements. In light of these results, I recommend that BPA immediately withdraw the PV integration tariff and postpone its use until a time when it is justified by the true balancing requirements for PV generators within BPA’s BAA.

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