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GE Energy has signed a contract with the Ontario Power Authority to study the impact of wind power on the Ontario, Canada, electricity system.

The study, which also is sponsored by the Independent Electricity System Operator and the Canadian Wind Energy Association, will be used to assist the development of an integrated power system plan (IPSP).

The IPSP will cover a 20-year time frame and will establish direction, strategy and an action plan for the development and implementation of renewable and other forms of generation and transmission to meet consumer energy supply needs. The ultimate goal of the study is to determine the maximum amount of wind power that could be added to the Ontario bulk power system with minimal impact on system operation.

In executing the study, GE will assess the operational impact of integrating wind power penetration levels of up to 25% to 35% into Ontario's electricity system. GE will work with AWS Truewind to develop energy production profiles for a number of wind generation sites across Ontario. The variability of wind generation, in combination with load variability, will be quantified and characterized to determine the impact on system operations.

The Ontario electricity system study will help improve industry understanding of the impact of very large wind penetration levels. The Ontario Power Authority expects the study to be completed by the end of summer 2006.

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