REZ Training Materials

Achieving renewable energy goals may require investments in new electricity transmission, especially if planners anticipate economic growth and increased electricity demand. The Renewable Energy Zone (REZ) Toolkit provides policymakers and practitioners with the information and tools needed to successfully apply the REZ transmission planning process—connecting areas of cost-effective renewable energy generation to the grid.

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Videos and recorded webinars

Transmission Planning for a High Renewable Energy Future: Lessons from the Texas Competitive Renewable Energy Zones Process

In 2005, the Texas power system developed a new approach to transmission system planning based on the designation of Competitive Renewable Energy Zones (CREZ). Designed to direct transmission expansion to the state’s most productive wind energy resources, the implementation of CREZ has helped to enable the addition of more than 18 gigawatts of wind energy generation capacity to Texas’s power system while overcoming technical issues such as curtailment and transmission congestion. This webinar provided an overview of the CREZ process, including the regulatory, procedural and technical considerations that were critical to its successful implementation in Texas. The webinar also introduced a Renewable Energy Zones “Toolkit” developed through a USAID and NREL partnership and intended to guide other power systems in adapting elements of the CREZ approach to their own power system planning processes. Click here to download an audio transcript of this webinar. 

Power Purchase Agreements for Grid-Aware Renewable Energy Procurement

Power purchase agreements (PPAs) are a key mechanism that utilities use to procure variable renewable energy from independent power producers. A PPA is a long-term (20-25 year) contract that codifies all aspects of the electricity sale, including the price of electricity and the associated legal obligations of both parties. This webinar focuses on PPA provisions that can enable wind and solar technologies to enhance grid stability and contribute to power system flexibility. Discussed are key considerations, including ancillary services, advanced telemetry, and automatic generation control. The discussion is followed with a presentation by Xcel Energy, a vertically integrated electricity utility in the United States and the largest wind buyer in the country, to discuss Xcel Energy’s Model PPA for wind power systems.

Integrating Variable Renewable Energy to the Grid: Key Issues and Emerging Solutions

Greening the Grid, in partnership with the Clean Energy Solutions Center, hosted this webinar, which provides a general introduction to the challenges associated with integrating significant quantities of variable renewable energy to the grid and the emerging solutions that policymakers, regulators and grid operators have taken to integrate wind and solar and meet renewable energy targets. For a written transcript of the webinar, click here

Best Practices in Conducting Grid Integration Studies

Greening the Grid, in partnership with the Clean Energy Solutions Center, hosted this webinar, which addresses several fundamental questions, including the following: Why conduct a grid integration study? What types of questions can a grid integration study address? What are best practices for engaging key stakeholders in grid integration studies? What kinds of analysis and data are involved in a grid integration study? It includes several case studies to highlight examples and lessons learned from existing grid integration study efforts. For a written transcript of the webinar, click here.

Implementing Renewable Energy Zones for Integrated Transmission and Generation Planning

In many countries, integrating significant renewable energy to the grid requires new transmission to access the best wind and solar resources and accommodate generation from large projects. The renewable energy zone (REZ) approach provides a policy framework for planning new transmission to encourage utility-scale renewable energy development in areas that have the highest likelihood of being cost-effective. This webinar, hosted in partnership with the Clean Energy Solutions Center, introduces the REZ approach, including the value of REZ to a power system, crucial components of the REZ process, technical approach to defining REZs using geospatial analysis, and case studies to highlight examples and key lessons for implementing REZ in other parts of the world. For a written transcript of the webinar, click here.

An Introduction to Wind and Solar Power Forecasting

This webinar, hosted in partnership with the Clean Energy Solutions Center, introduces the considerations associated with advancing the use of wind and solar forecasts to more efficiently integrate variable renewable energy into the grid. Discussion topics include: how wind and solar forecasting enhance power system operations; how wind and solar forecasts are produced; approaches to structuring forecasting programs and the collection of necessary data; and policy and other actions to support forecasting. For a written transcript of the webinar, click here.

Facilitating the Integration of Renewable Energy through Balancing Area Cooperation

This five-minute animated video illustrates how cooperation between power systems can facilitate the integration of variable renewable energy (VRE) to the grid. 

Big, Fast and Flexible: Grid Operations for Efficient Variable Renewable Integration

This webinar, hosted in partnership with the Clean Energy Solutions Centerprovides an overview of the value of large balancing areas and fast system operations for cost-effectively integrating high penetrations of wind and solar on the grid. Speakers discussed different pathways, along with implementation considerations and examples for each, for enhancing the size and speed of grid operations for efficient variable renewable integration. For a written transcript of the webinar, click here.

Distributed Solar on the Grid: Key Opportunities and Challenges

This webinar, hosted in partnership with the Clean Energy Solutions Center, reviews the key technical and economic challenges related to distributed, grid-connected solar photovoltaic (DGPV) integration, and presents a discussion of how DGPV is shaping the planning, operation, regulation and even conceptualization the power system. For a written transcript of the webinar, click here

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