Planning & Management
394629 - The role of spatial-temporal covariance in U.S. Western wind and hydrological extremes on California’s electric power system
Wednesday, June 6
4:00 PM - 5:30 PM
Location: Greenway GH
Department of Environmental Sciences and Engineering and Center on Financial Risk in Environmental Systems, Gillings School of Global Public Health and UNC Institute for the Environment, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Jordan Kern, Chapel Hill – UNC Chapel Hill
Electric power systems are explicitly designed to cope with some degree of spatial-temporal covariance in the availability of variable renewable generation like wind, solar and hydropower, and to communicate this information via market prices. For example, prices in California’s wholesale electricity market are influenced not only by the availability of hydropower and wind power in California, but also by the availability of these resources in neighboring systems in the Pacific Northwest and the Southwest, all of which are statistically dependent. Considerable attention is being paid to the potential for the combined effects of climate change and growing renewable capacity to alter the availability and dynamics of these resources on an individual system basis. Much less attention, however, has been paid to the potential for non-stationarity in spatial and temporal covariance across the entire western U.S. to alter the frequency of periods of energy overabundance and scarcity, both of which pose unique challenges to power system operators.
In this study, we link stochastic weather simulation, reservoir operations, and power system dispatch models to mechanistically simulate wholesale price dynamics in the California market. We examine the role of regional spatial-temporal covariance in wind and hydropower in driving price extremes, and test the sensitivity of prices to potential climate impacts, including altered statistical dependencies across California, the Pacific Northwest, and the Southwest. Results highlight how uncertainty in these areas could affect (and be affected by) planned rapid development of renewable energy in the region.