Xcel Colorado sets U.S. record with over 60% wind
It's been a while since this happened (May 24, actually), but it's never been previously reported, and impressive enough that we don't want to let it go without a mention: Xcel Energy's Colorado system has topped its old hourly penetration record for wind (56.7%), reaching 60.5% between 1 and 2 a.m. local time on that date.
During that hour, wind power supplied 1,874 megawatts (MW) of a total load of 3,100 MW, according to an e-mail we just received from an Xcel Energy official.
To my knowledge, this share of system generation has never previously been reached by a U.S. power system. At one point a few years ago, Portugal obtained 93% of its electricity from wind, but that was facilitated by its connections with neighboring Spain's utility system. Colorado's system, by contrast, is relatively isolated.
And the even better news is that Xcel Energy's experience with wind power has whetted its appetite for more. The company has announced that it will expand its already large use of wind power by 30 percent with recently announced purchase agreements and direct ownership--including yet another wind farm in Colorado.
These exciting developments are further proof that it is possible for U.S. electric utilities to accommodate very high penetrations of wind power--very positive news for those who would like to see this zero-fuel, zero-pollution energy source make up a much larger share of our nation's electricity generation portfolio.
Chart source: AWEA.
Wind power sets new generation, penetration records on Texas utility system, May 5, 2013
California ISO reports new wind generation record: 4,196 MW, April 9, 2013
Xcel Energy achieves wind energy milestone, March 26, 2013
California, Pacific Northwest set new wind generation records, March 5, 2013
Wind generation records fall in Texas, Colorado, Pacific Northwest, February 20, 2013
More new wind generation records: Texas, Spain, UK, February 5, 2013
Bonneville reaches new peak for wind generation: 4,344 MW, January 31, 2013
ERCOT sets wind generation record on Christmas Day, January 14, 2013
Southwest Power Pool achieves wind penetration record, December 20, 2012
ERCOT, SPP systems see record wind generation levels, November 21, 2012
Texas system operator tallies new record: 8,368 MW, June 21, 2012
WINDPOWER 2012 Update: Xcel Colorado sets new mark with 56.7% wind, June 5, 2012
Wind generation sets new records in Texas, Spain, May 22, 2012
New technology helps Texas system operator blow through wind generation records, March 12, 2012
Wind tops 25 percent of load on main Texas grid, March 5, 2012
Across U.S., wind power sets new generation records, February 13, 2012
Get Email Updates
Did you know?
The U.S. wind energy industry could support 500,000 jobs, according to the Department of Energy's 20 percent Wind Energy by 2030 study.Tweet this
American wind is one of the most affordable forms of newly built electricity generation. It costs less than new coal or nuclear energy and competes with natural gas in wind-rich regions.Tweet this
Over 45,000 wind turbines across the U.S. can now produce enough electricity to power the equivalent of all the homes in CO, IA, MD, MI, NV, and OH combined.Tweet this
The Southeast has become a wind manufacturing hub, with more than 105 plants supplying components to the industry.Tweet this
Grid operators in America and worldwide already rely on wind power to keep the lights on since wind power can be predicted 4 to 24 hours in advance.Tweet this
Grid operators in America and worldwide already rely on wind power to keep the lights on, since wind power can be predicted 4 to 24 hours in advance.Tweet this
- Tweet this
Driving today costs over 15 cents/mi for gas, while running an electric car on wind power costs less than 3 cents/mi, saving a typical electric car driver over $1,400/year.Tweet this
Generating electricity from wind does not require water – saving 37.7 billion gallons a year, or enough water bottles to stretch to Saturn and back.Tweet this
The U.S. wind industry supported 80,000 jobs in 2012. A full 25,000 of those jobs were in manufacturing.Tweet this
Nearly 70 percent of every U.S. wind turbine is now American-made, up from less than 25 percent prior to 2005.Tweet this
- Tweet this
42 percent of new U.S. electric generating capacity came from wind in 2012, making it the top source of new capacity.Tweet this
Private investment totaling $25 billion drove a record-setting year for new wind installations in 2012.Tweet this
- Tweet this
Top states for installed new wind capacity in 2012: Texas (1,826 MW); California (1,656 MW); Kansas (1,441 MW); Oklahoma (1,127 MW); and Illinois (823 MW).Tweet this
The U.S. wind fleet installed at the end of 2012 will avoid 98.9 million metric tons of carbon dioxide this year - 4.4 percent of power sector emissions.Tweet this