In the latest example of wind power’s growing role, the Midwest ISO (MISO) said actual wind output has surpassed 10,000 MW in the 11 states and Canadian province of Manitoba that are served by the regional grid operator.
The new wind peak took place overnight Friday, Nov. 23 with a peak output of 10,012 MW serving the energy needs of the MISO service territory and representing more than 25% of the generation output being used at that time, MISO said in a Nov. 27 news release.
This is the highest penetration since MISO began integrating wind into its market operations in 2006.
The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) and ISO New England (ISO-NE) are among the other regional grid operators that have recently commented upon their growing use of wind energy.
“Wind represents one of the fuel choices that helps us manage congestion on the system and ultimately helps keep prices low for our customers and the end-use consumer,” said Joe Gardner, Executive Director of Real-time Operations. “When we have significant quantities of wind being generated, we use less of other, more expensive, generation types to keep the system in balance,” Gardner said.
Total wind capacity in the MISO footprint has grown dramatically since 2006. Driven by the nation’s desire for cleaner energy and state mandates for renewable energy portfolios, MISO now manages more than 11,000 MW of installed wind generation in service, with more than 7,000 MWs of projects advancing through the interconnection requirements.
In December 2006, there was a little over 1,100 MW of registered nameplate wind capacity in the MISO region. As of Sept. 1 this year that total had grown to more than 12,400 MW, according to a MISO fact sheet.
Wind energy officials, meanwhile, fear that new projects could dry up if Congress does not extend the production tax credit (PTC), which is currently scheduled to expire Dec. 31.