The cost of curtailing wind turbines for secondary frequency regulation capacity

Stephen Rose, Jay Apt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


We analyze the cost of curtailing the active power output of a wind farm to provide secondary frequency regulation capacity. We calculate the regulation capacity available and its cost by simulating the active power output of a curtailed 100-MW wind farm with a hybrid of real wind speed data and simulated high-frequency turbulence. We find that a curtailed wind farm can provide secondary frequency regulation capacity at a cost lower than conventional generators in less than 1 % of the 1,440 1-h intervals studied. Although the operating cost of curtailing a wind farm for frequency regulation capacity is high, the capital cost of installing the hardware and software to enable curtailment for frequency regulation is low. For that reason, we suggest that it is reasonable that grid operators require wind farms to have the capability to curtail for frequency regulation, but we recommend that capability should be rarely used.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)407-422
Number of pages16
JournalEnergy Systems
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2014

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
R.K. Mellon Foundation and the Heinz Endowments for support of the RenewElec program at Carnegie Mellon University. This research was also supported in part by the Climate and Energy Decision Making (CEDM) center. This Center has been created through a cooperative agreement between the National Science Foundation (SES-0949710) and Carnegie Mellon University.

Funding Information:
Acknowledgments This work was supported in part by the EPA STAR fellowship program, a grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and EPRI to the Carnegie Mellon Electricity Industry Center, and by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, the Department of Energy National Energy Technology Laboratory, the


  • Curtailment
  • Economics
  • Frequency control
  • Wind power


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