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Wind Power Capacity Development in Washington State: Backup Generation and Emissions Implications

dc.contributor.advisor Patiño-Echeverri, Dalia Shekar, Navin 2011-04-29T17:18:37Z 2011-04-29T17:18:37Z 2011-04-29
dc.description.abstract Washington State is the most populous state in the US’s Pacific Northwest region and fosters a robust industrial, technology, and agrarian based economy that will lead the state towards increasing electricity demand over the coming years. Considering that most of the cost effective hydroelectric sources are tapped out and the state will need to meet an RPS of 15% by 2020, wind power represents the largest resource for renewable utility scale electricity. However, large-scale wind development is synonymous with necessary balancing power to counteract wind intermittency. In order to fully assess the emissions impact of integrating large scale wind power into Washington State, this paper assumes a level of necessary natural gas balancing power to estimate a range for the associated air emissions up to the year 2030. Upon modeling the amount of electricity that can be generated from useful wind power (>Class 3 sites) in Washington, results indicate that more than enough wind power potential lies in the state to meet the RPS and demand up to year 2030. Meeting RPS and demand for 2030 via wind would emit 30,856-113,074 metric tons of CO2. Furthermore, although wind power is not a completely Carbon neutral generation source, this paper’s analysis indicates that developing wind power to meet 2030 demand still has the potential to abate 590,000-672,000 metric tons of CO2 emissions against a natural gas alternative, in addition to meeting the state’s RPS.
dc.subject Wind Power Emissions
dc.subject Washington State Renewable Energy
dc.subject Wind Power Balancing
dc.subject Washington State Renewable Portfolio Standard
dc.title Wind Power Capacity Development in Washington State: Backup Generation and Emissions Implications
dc.type Master's project
dc.department Nicholas School of the Environment and Earth Sciences

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