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The Potential for Wind Energy Meeting Electricity Needs on Vancouver Island

Prescott, Ryan, van Kooten, G. Cornelis, Zhu, Hui
carbon dioxide, electricity, energy, greenhouse gas emissions, models, supply balance, wind, wind power, wind turbines
In this paper, an in-depth analysis of power supply and demand on Vancouver Island is used to provide information about the optimal allocation of power across ‘generating’ sources and to investigate the economics of wind generation and penetrability into the Island grid. The methodology developed can be extended to a region much larger than Vancouver Island. Results from the model indicate that Vancouver Island could experience blackouts in the near future unless greater name-plate capacity is developed. While wind-generated energy has the ability to contribute to the Island's power needs, the problem with wind power is its intermittency. The results indicate that wind power may not be able to prevent shortfalls, regardless of the overall name-plate capacity of the wind turbines. Further, costs of reducing CO₂ emissions using wind power are unacceptably large, perhaps more than $100 per tCO₂, although this might be attributable to the mix of power sources making up the Island's grid.