NEW YORK New York could reliably boost power generation from wind from the current 1,275 megawatts to 8,000 MW by 2018, according to a new study by the state grid operator on Thursday .
New York needs more wind power to reduce carbon emissions to fight global warming and help meet its goal of having 30 percent of the state's electricity supplied by renewable resources by 2015.
"Wind power is a vital component of New York State's renewable energy strategy. This study provides a much clearer picture of the benefits consumers can see as a result of continued wind development," said Stephen Whitley, New York Independent System Operator president and chief executive.
Energy companies have submitted proposals to the New York ISO to build more than 7,000 MW of wind projects in the state. That would power about 2.3 million New York homes.
The ISO acknowledged wind power presents challenges due to the variability of output and the fact that wind energy tends to increase much later in the day when power use is declining and decline in the morning when power use is increasing.
But, the study found the ISO could overcome the intermittent nature of wind and keep the grid stable through transmission upgrades, the implementation of a wind dispatch system that forecasts how much wind will be available, and the installation of facilities that can turn on quickly when the wind stops blowing.
In addition to reducing carbon emissions, the study also found more wind power would lower total energy production costs and significantly decrease the emission of sulfur, nitrogen and other pollutants.
(Reporting by Scott DiSavino; Editing by Marguerita Choy)