Some concerned that wind farms could threaten reliability of nation's power grid

Jun 29, 2017

The wind that blows across the Great Plains makes it prime real estate for wind turbines.

Credit ENERGY.GOV

But as Colorado Public Radio reports, some are concerned that wind energy could threaten the reliability of the nation’s electric grid, while others believe if properly planned for, there’s no limit on how much renewable energy the grid can one day handle.

As Colorado Public Radio reports, Energy Secretary Rick Perry ordered a study earlier this year to see what, if any impact, renewable energy is having on the nation’s electric grid and a North Dakota senator, over concerns about the grid’s reliability, suggested a halt to wind farm development for two years.

But a Midwest grid operator says utilities are getting savvy about forecasting when the wind will blow and planning wind farms out so that one farm can power up as another powers down.

Plus, the prospect of energy storage — capturing wind's electricity as it's generated and saving it for use when demand is high — could make a big difference as the technology develops.