ERCOT sets another record for wind power output

Wind generation set a new milestone on Sunday afternoon, Nov. 27, providing more than 15,000 MW in the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) region for the first time.

Specifically, the ERCOT system used 15,033 MW of electricity from wind at 12:35 p.m. on Nov. 27, representing about 45% of total demand for electric power at the time.

Of the total, more than 8,800 MW was produced from wind generation facilities in West and North Texas, while nearly 3,800 MW came from the South region, mostly the Gulf Coast area, and about 2,300 MW came from the Panhandle region.

“We saw high wind output throughout the day, ranging from just over 10,000 MW during the late night hours to this peak output during the noon hour,” said ERCOT Senior Director of System Operations Dan Woodfin. “Over the years, ERCOT has taken a number of steps, such as improving renewable generation forecasts, to allow us to operate the grid reliably on days like this.”

The portion of load served by wind ranged from about 35% to more than 46%, averaging nearly 41% throughout the day.

One MW is enough electricity to serve about 200 homes during peak demand and 500 homes during milder conditions. There is more than 17,000 MW of installed wind generation capacity serving the ERCOT system, and that total is expected to top 19,000 MW by the end of 2016.

The previous wind generation output record of 14,122 MW was set on Nov. 17. The current record for percentage of load served — 48.28% — was set on March 23, 2016, at 1:10 a.m.

In 2015, wind generation provided 11.7% of the energy used in the ERCOT region. As of the end of October, wind had served 14.7% of the region’s energy needs so far in 2016.

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