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For example, solar thermal power plants such as Nevada Solar One are somewhat matched to summer peak loads in areas with significant cooling demands, such as the south-western United States.Thermal energy storage systems like the small Spanish Gemasolar Thermosolar Plant can improve the match between solar supply and local consumption.According to a 2007 study of wind in the United States, ten or more widely separated wind farms connected through the grid could be relied upon for from 33 to 47% of their average output (15–20% of nominal capacity) as reliable, baseload power, as long as minimum criteria are met for wind speed and turbine height.Wind power is affected by air temperature because colder air is more dense and therefore more effective at producing wind power.Studies by academics and grid operators indicate that the cost of compensating for intermittency is expected to be high at levels of penetration above the low levels currently in use today Large, distributed power grids are better able to deal with high levels of penetration than small, isolated grids.For a hypothetical European-wide power grid, analysis has shown that wind energy penetration levels as high as 70% are viable, Matching power demand to supply is not a problem specific to intermittent power sources.The use of intermittent sources in an electric power system usually displaces storable primary energy that would otherwise be consumed by other power stations.

The low frequency variability (longer than once per day) is associated with the passage of transient waves in the atmosphere with a characteristic time scale of several days.The 150 MW Andasol solar power station is a commercial parabolic trough solar thermal power plant, located in Spain.The Andasol plant uses tanks of molten salt to store solar energy so that it can continue generating electricity even when the sun isn't shining.If wind speed is too low (less than about 2.5 m/s) then the wind turbines will not be able to make electricity, and if it is too high (more than about 25 m/s) the turbines will have to be shut down to avoid damage.While the output from a single turbine can vary greatly and rapidly as local wind speeds vary, as more turbines are connected over larger and larger areas the average power output becomes less variable.An intermittent energy source is any source of energy that is not continuously available for conversion into electricity and outside direct control because the used primary energy cannot be stored.Intermittent energy sources may be predictable but cannot be dispatched to meet the demand of an electric power system.The improved capacity factor using thermal storage represents a decrease in maximum capacity, and extends the total time the system generates power.Wind-generated power is a variable resource, and the amount of electricity produced at any given point in time by a given plant will depend on wind speeds, air density, and turbine characteristics (among other factors).According to an article in Energy Pulse, "the development and expansion of well-functioning day-ahead and real time markets will provide an effective means of dealing with the variability of wind generation." Several authors have said that no energy resource is totally reliable.Amory Lovins says that nuclear power plants are intermittent in that they will sometimes fail unexpectedly, often for long periods of time. nuclear plants produce approximately 90% of their full-time full-load potential, but even they must shut down (on average) for 39 days every 17 months for scheduled refueling and maintenance.

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