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Frontiers of Mechanical Engineering >> 2017, Volume 12, Issue 3 doi: 10.1007/s11465-017-0440-3

Efficient utilization of wind power: Long-distance transmission or local consumption?

1. School of Electrical Engineering, Wuhan University, Wuhan 430072, China.

2. China Southern Power Grid Research Institute, Guangzhou 510080, China

Accepted: 2017-06-27 Available online:2017-08-04

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Excess wind power produced in wind-intensive areas is normally delivered to remote load centers via long-distance transmission lines. This paper presents a comparison between long-distance transmission, which has gained popularity, and local energy consumption, in which a fraction of the generated wind power can be locally consumed by energy-intensive industries. First, the challenges and solutions to the long-distance transmission and local consumption of wind power are presented. Then, the two approaches to the utilization of wind power are compared in terms of system security, reliability, cost, and capability to utilize wind energy. Finally, the economic feasibility and technical feasibility of the local consumption of wind power are demonstrated by a large and isolated industrial power system, or supermicrogrid, in China. The coal-fired generators together with the short-term interruptible electrolytic aluminum load in the supermicrogrid are able to compensate for the intermittency of wind power. In the long term, the transfer of high-energy-consumption industries to wind-rich areas and their local consumption of the available wind power are beneficial.

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