ERCOT shatters wind generation record set in June

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), grid operator for most of the state, continues to set new records for its level of wind generation.

ERCOT said in a Nov. 16 news release that the region saw a new wind record on Nov. 10.

Wind power output reached 8,521 MW at mid-morning on Nov. 10. This represented nearly 26% of system load at the time and surpassed the previous instantaneous record, set the evening of June 19, 2012, by more than 150 MW.

“We have surpassed previous wind power records several times this year,” said ERCOT’s Vice President of Grid Operations and System Planning Kent Saathoff. “While added capacity is one reason for this growth, experience and improved tools also are enabling ERCOT to integrate this resource into the grid more effectively than ever before.”

Nearly 7,000 MW of the new record included wind power from West Texas wind farms, followed by more than 1,100 MW from wind farms along the Texas Coast.

ERCOT has more than 10,000 MW of wind power capacity, with nearly 21,000 MW of additional wind power under review.

According to ERCOT data, about 15 ERCOT wind projects in development already have interconnections lined up and are scheduled for commercial operation between late 2012 and early 2015. That’s according to an Oct. 31 status update from ERCOT.

One of the largest wind projects in the pipeline is the 400-MW Baker Ranch wind project in Haskell County, being developed by Higher Power Energy.

Overall, ERCOT is currently tracking 143 active generation interconnection requests totaling over 40,000 MW. 

ERCOT is currently reviewing proposed transmission improvements with a total cost of $228.9m.

The completion of high-voltage transmission projects in Competitive Renewable Energy Zones by the end of 2013 will improve ERCOT’s ability to move wind power from West Texas to the metropolitan areas where demand on the grid is highest, ERCOT said.

About Wayne Barber 4201 Articles
Wayne Barber, Chief Analyst for the GenerationHub, has been covering power generation, energy and natural resources issues at national publications for more than 20 years. Prior to joining PennWell he was editor of Generation Markets Week at SNL Financial for nine years. He has also worked as a business journalist at both McGraw-Hill and Financial Times Energy. Wayne also worked as a newspaper reporter for several years. During his career has visited nuclear reactors and coal mines as well as coal and natural gas power plants. Wayne can be reached at wayneb@pennwell.com.