Wind power blows away records in the Midwest and Texas

Several wind power records fell yesterday.
Wind power blows away records in the Midwest and Texas

A strong and consistent breeze has descended down upon Texas and the Plains states. Yesterday, these gusts helped wind power break energy generation records on Texas’s main grid, ERCOT, and the grid across the Plains states, the Southwest Power Pool (SPP). These achievements resume a record-setting trend we last saw back in April.

The primary Texas grid operator, ERCOT, set an instantaneous peak wind output of 14,122 megawatts (MW), up from its previous high of 14,023 MW in February. This is not only a record for ERCOT, but also a new U.S. record for wind for a single system operator.

North of Texas, the grid operator for the Plains states, SPP, reported a generation record on the same day. Instantaneous peak wind output across the plains eclipsed 11,305 MW, upending the previous record of 10,439 MW, also set back in February.

Not to be outdone, the Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO), the grid operator for Midwestern states, is on the verge of setting its own wind output record. According to MISO’s day-ahead wind forecast, the grid operator expects wind output to surpass 13,190 MW today, November 18th. This will beat another February record of 13,084 MW.

Regional Wind Records 11 18 2016 (2)

These record wind outputs by grid operators across the country demonstrate that large amounts of wind energy can be reliably integrated into the grid. Thanks to technological advances, wind plants are able to meet or succeed the reliability functions of conventional generation.

Check out this video to learn more about how wind energy saves money and improves reliability.


John is AWEA’s Senior Director, Research & Analytics. He oversees the collection, verification, and reporting of industry market data on wind projects, wind-related manufacturing facilities, wind jobs, and wind energy benefits in order to position AWEA as the authoritative voice on wind energy industry information. As an extension, John provides economic analysis, market assessment, and energy policy analysis to support AWEA’s legislative and regulatory agendas. This is John’s second tenure with AWEA. In the interim, John was a senior analyst with FI Consulting, a boutique financial and IT consulting firm. He holds a Master’s degree in International Economics and International Affairs with a concentration in Energy, Resources, and the Environment from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies.

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