What to do with 613 megawatts of wind energy when the load demand within Maine is between 1000 to 1400 megawatts at any given time ?
613 megawatts of wind energy represents all turbines in Maine running at 100% capacity. Although not a usual occurrence, it is between 40% to 60% of Maine's electric needs depending on the time of day.
To accommodate 613 megawatts, do you shut down other generators offering their output ? Wind with price subsidy advantages can underprice other generators and, by rule of bid offers, must be given first rights to the grid.
Can you, as the grid operator request wind to curtail output ? If it creates a physical grid stress, the grid operator can curtail wind. One of the reasons for grid upgrades is to prevent situations of curtailments.
Do you move the 613 megawatts as well as output from other Maine generators along the major transmission lines to the New Hampshire border ? Some of this overall output is used in Maine, the rest is exported south. Of course, even the largest transmission lines in Maine have only so much output capacity. As more wind is demanded from our southern neighbors, more transmission upgrades must occur.
As more and more wind power is built in Maine, the impacts on other Maine generators will get more severe. Two biomass plants in Maine were recently shut down due to the overabundance of in-state renewable plants depressing the renewable energy credit prices.
Maine lawmakers must take another look at the State's Renewable Portfolio Program that, at first, enabled both wind power and biomass power, but, now, with so many wind plants popping up, disables the biomass industry with it's accompanying jobs.