Wind and Storage

Description | Challenges | Resources for Students & Teachers | Open Applet in New Window


Screen shot of applet for Wind and StorageUse this applet to explore some issues related to generation, demand, and transmission of electricity. When the applet opens, a coal powered generator and a natural gas generator are available to deliver electricity to three communities, but only the coal generator is producing. The wind farm is not yet connected to the system. As the demand from the communities changes over a 24-hour period, the generators adjust their power production. Fuel costs and carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions per hour for each of the generators is shown. The total peak demand for the communities is set to be 750 MW. The Peak community power demand slider allows you to change the total peak demand. There are also sliders that change the wind farm capacity and the capacity of the transmission line between substation 1 and substation 2. There are buttons for plotting graphs that show costs, emissions, available wind power, branch flow, load and generation.


  1. Watch the clock and notice how the demand from the communities changes throughout the day. What do you see? At what times is the power demand from the residential load lowest? When is it highest? At what times are the power demands from the commercial load and industrial load lowest and highest?
  2. The power utility wants to provide electricity to its customers at the lowest cost. It is also concerned about climate change and wants to keep its CO2 emissions as low as possible, so it wants to add wind power generation. The site with good wind resources is some distance from the communities so the utility needs transmission lines to connect to it. Click on the switch to close the line between substation 1 and substation 2. How much power does the wind farm contribute to the communities? How does this affect the costs and emissions?
  3. Notice the slider for Wind farm capacity. The wind farm's capacity is 195 MW when the applet opens. This slider sets the maximum power the wind farm can produce under perfect wind conditions. The power utility could increase the wind farm capacity by building more turbines. What changes when you move this slider? How does the plot showing system costs change when wind is added to the system?

Resources for Students & Teachers

  • Quick-Start Guide: Use this quick-start guide to learn about the features of this applet.
  • Lessons: Lessons have been created to help you use this applet in your classroom.