CONTACT: Lisa Meiman, 720-962-7051


LAKEWOOD, Colo. – Thirty five utility groups, grid operators and renewable energy developers filled the Western Area Power Administration’s Electric Power Training Center in Golden, Colo., Feb. 22 to 24 to learn about interconnecting wind and solar energy into the bulk and distribution electric grid.

This was the sixth Distributed Wind/Solar Interconnection Workshop hosted by Western; the Utility Wind Integration Group; the American Public Power Association; the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association; and the Department of Energy’s Wind and Water Power, Solar Energy Technologies and Tribal Energy programs to provide stakeholders and other interested parties information on current wind and solar integration studies.

“I thought it was great. It was a nice forum with impressive speakers,” said Jay Caspary from the DOE office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability and on loan from the regional transmission organization Southwest Power Pool. “There were a lot of smart people there, and I enjoyed connecting with people in the area.”

On Feb. 22 and 23, expert speakers from UWIG, Tri-State Generation and Transmission, Xcel Energy, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Western and DOE presented case studies, answered questions about interconnecting wind and solar plants to the distribution system, and provided insight and understanding to integrating large scale renewable generation into the transmission system.

Participants took a tour of NREL, also in Golden, on the last day.

Although attendance was limited to 35 people at the training center, there were limitless webinar slots for other parties. Five people joined in online.

“It was a really nice structure with the in person and webinar events. It was a first for UWIG,” said Caspary. “While I think the people present probably learned more, especially through interacting with others, it was great the people online could still get the information.”