Wind power buffets BPA

Managing wind-powered generators is no breeze for the Bonneville Power Administration.

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The BPA says wind power flowing onto its grid nearly doubled in each of the past four years.

That surge not only taxes the existing transmission system, most of which is operated by the BPA, but relying on such an intermittent resource has also posed reliability issues for the hydro system.

Incorporating wind power also raises regional equity and environmental issues as the agency tries to balance mandates from states for more renewable energy against its obligations to its utility customers and a responsibility to protect migrating salmon.

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