As wind power continues to grow across the U.S. (see AWEA's 4th quarter 2011 market report, "Wind energy making new inroads, building on success," Jan. 26), wind generation records are toppling.
On Jan. 1, the Midwest Independent System Operator (MISO), which manages the electric utility system in a broad swath of states in the Upper Midwest, reported that wind power had set a new record of 8,522 MW for the hour between 5 and 6 p.m., surpassing a previous high of 7,971 MW established just two weeks earlier.
On Dec. 31, 2011, the Southwest Power Pool (SPP), which oversees utility system operations in Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma and parts of several neighboring states, saw a new high-wind mark of 3,927 MW set between 8 and 9 a.m.
And on Feb. 1, the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA), a federal power marketing agency in the Pacific Northwest, set a wind generation record of 3,478 MW at 1:15 p.m., nipping the old record of 3,477 MW set two days earlier at 5:05 a.m. on Jan. 30.
"It's great to see wind notching new highs around the country," commented AWEA Manager of Transmission Policy Michael Goggin. "Every kilowatt-hour of electricity generated by wind almost always displaces a kilowatt-hour that would otherwise be generated by the most expensive and most polluting power plants on the utility system. More wind generation means cleaner air and savings for utility ratepayers."
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Xcel Energy: More wind, less cost, October 31, 2011
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Wind energy integration: Some fundamental facts, June 23, 2011