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Integrating Renewable Energy

As renewable energy provides higher percentages of a utility’s generation portfolio, grid stability must be managed in new ways.  New techniques and innovative solutions are being tested currently in the United States, and successful results in Europe suggest that there may be increased opportunities for renewable resources in the coming years.  Recent analyses demonstrate that it is operationally feasible to achieve a penetration of 35 percent renewables.  However, achieving operational feasibility requires important changes to current operating procedures, including balancing authority reform, and deploying more storage and communications intelligence on the grid.  New transmission and grid technologies are ready for deployment or are becoming commercially available. These technologies include a wide array of smart grid technologies, storage technologies, electric vehicles, more efficient conductors, synchrophasors, and more.  As a general matter, electric utilities may be fully aware of these technologies, but often the lack of financial and regulatory incentives may delay timely deployment.