AWEA: Record August winds propel 2015 output

Year-to-date wind energy production is almost back to the high-water mark seen in 2014 thanks to record output in August and above average output in July, according to newly released Department of Energy (DOE) data, John Hensley said in a Nov. 9 American Wind Energy Association blog.

The latest results also confirm that some press articles were premature in their sky-is-falling reports of decreased 2015 output, based on only a few months of data, he said.

DOE’s data show August 2015 had the highest wind energy output of any August on record, both in terms of gross wind power production (13,040 gigawatt hours (GWh)) and a capacity factor of 26 percent – a measure of actual generation as a share of the theoretical maximum potential output.

August’s strong performance is helping year-to-date wind power output catch up to 2014’s record winds. Through the first 8 months of the year, wind power production in 2015 is only 1.2% off the record output of 2014. Considering the below average production seen in the first half of 2015, this is an encouraging trend, according to AWEA.