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A group of energy experts in the Northwest has released the Northwest Wind Integration Action Plan, which provides recommendations to resolve uncertainties surrounding the development of wind power.

According to the Northwest Power and Conservation Council, over the next three years, as much as 2,400 MW of wind power is expected to come online in the Pacific Northwest region. In addition, as much as 6,000 MW of wind power has the potential to come online by 2024. These predictions are the result of Western governors' calling for 30,000 MW of renewable energy in the region's interconnection by 2015 and Montana's renewable portfolio standard of 15% by 2015, among other policies that have recently been implemented.

The plan recommends 16 actions to help resolve issues that would prevent wind power from being generated. These recommendations address challenges associated with transmission marketing, planning and expansion, among others.

"This regional effort concludes that more wind power projects can be incorporated into the Northwest power system," says Steve Wright, Bonneville Power Administration's administrator, who was involved in the group. "To maintain a reliable electricity system, there are costs that need to be addressed, transmission resources that need to be built and wind resources will need to be supplemented by nonwind generation. These challenges can be solved, but we need to get after them."

To view the plan in full, visit nwcouncil.org/energy/Wind/Final.pdf.

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