The World's #1 Renewable Energy Network for News, Information, and Companies.
Untitled Document

Thanks in Part to Technology, ERCOT Wind Power Generation Record Shattered Twice

The grid operator for most of Texas broke its wind power generation record twice this week. But what's almost as notable is what was behind the record—besides the wind, that is.

Wind output reached 7,599 MW at 8:41 p.m., last Wednesday, exceeding the 7,403 MW record from the previous day by 196 MW and meeting a full 22 percent of the system’s electricity demand.  At the time of Wednesday’s record, total system load was 34,318 MW.  Prior to March 6, the record for wind output in ERCOT was 7,400 MW, recorded on Oct. 7, 2011. 7,599 MW is enough to fully supply about 6 million typical American homes at average usage levels.

As impressive as all those numbers are, however, just as noteworthy is how improved grid operating procedures were, in part, behind the record-setting generation.

“March is typically a high wind month for ERCOT, but these new records are also due in part to a new transmission analysis tool we started using this week that allows us to move more wind energy from the west zone,” said Kent Saathoff, director of grid operations and system planning.  “The transient security assessment tool improves the accuracy of our transmission limits by improving our ability to establish the limits with the most current conditions available.”

ERCOT began using the new tool March 6 to calculate day-ahead and real-time west-to-north stability limits.

“In the past, we’ve had some slack built into some of our transmission limits because these limits had to be set well in advance,” Saathoff said.  “The new tool runs an analysis on real-time conditions every 30 minutes so it gives us a more fine-tuned analysis.” 

Studies have shown for a long time that wind can supply a significant amount of the nation’s electricity load with current technology, as long as new transmission is built and grid operating procedures are updated. A Department of Energy Report from 2008 confirmed that 20 percent wind power by 2030 is feasible, even with no technology improvements from that time going forward.

Wind provided 8.5 percent of ERCOT’s electricity last year. ERCOT increased its installed wind capacity last month by 9 MW with the addition of Trinity Hills Wind in Nueces County.  More than 18,000 MW of wind generation projects are currently under review, according to the February system planning update. In addition, the Competitive Renewable Energy Zone transmission lines are expected to come online over the next two years, increasing the transmission capacity to move wind power from West Texas to load centers in the eastern part of the state and allowing approximately 9,000 MW of additional wind energy development.

Said AWEA Manager of Transmission Policy, Michael Goggin, “This new record shows that large amounts of wind energy are being reliably and cost effectively integrated onto the power system today. ERCOT’s record joins a number of other major wind accomplishments in the U.S. over the last few months, from Xcel Energy Colorado obtaining over 55 percent of its electricity from wind for a period last October, to the Midwest ISO and the Southwest Power Pool setting record wind outputs of 8,522 MW on January 1, 2012 and 3,927 MW on December 31, 2011, respectively. Texas has been leading the way in wind energy development, in part because the state has transmission and grid operating policies that make the power system work better for all users.”

Carl Levesque is the communications editor at AWEA. This article first appeared in the AWEA Windletter and was reprinted with permission from the American Wind Energy Association.

Image: ssuaphotos via Shutterstock

Untitled Document

Get All the Renewable Energy World News Delivered to Your Inbox

Subscribe to Renewable Energy World or email newsletter today at no cost and receive the latest news and information.

 Subscribe Now

RELATED ARTICLES

offshore wind

Hitachi Plans to Add Production Line for Offshore Wind Parts

Chisaki Watanabe, Bloomberg Hitachi Ltd. plans to expand its reach into the market for offshore wind projects by adding a production line to make...
Renewable energy

Leading US ICT Companies Renewables Use at 14%, and Growing

Andrew Burger Electricity consumption in the global information and communications technology (ICT) industry is growing rapidly. An...
Wind farms

Western: Streamlined Environmental Review Process for Wind Farms in Midwest ‘Takes Effect Right Away’

Jennifer Delony Western in an Aug. 26 record of decision (ROD) adopted a standardized process for collecting information and evaluati...

NextEra Commits to Hawaii’s Clean Power Goal, Local Management

Lynn Doan, Bloomberg NextEra Energy Inc. and Hawaiian Electric Industries Inc. made 50 new commitments as part of their proposal to merge ...

PRESS RELEASES

Canadian Solar Wins Five Solar Power Projects Totaling 185 MW in Brazil

These power projects were won under a 20-year Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with the B...

$100 Off of 5-day Advanced PV Project Experience. Download a Topic Schedule.

Assemble, ground, energize, and commission a complete grid-tied SolarEdge system from s...

Former Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd talks politics of fear vs. politics of hope

Rudd, who led the Australian parliament from 2007 to 2010, told the Summit audience tha...

Intersolar AWARD „Solar Projects in India“ – Applications being accepted until September 18

The Intersolar AWARD in the category Solar Projects in India honors projects in the fie...

FEATURED BLOGS

Washington, DC Bridges the Solar Gap

The District of Columbia has enjoyed 15 years of strong economic growth. But prosperity is spread unevenly across the...

Sell Through Hypothesis

You first learned to hypothesize, or make educated guesses, in grade school science class. Now it’s time to ref...

Cronimet / THEnergy study: In solar for mines size does not always matter - Reducing CAPEX with energy efficiency and load shifting

Munich, September 2015. Mining companies are constantly gaining interest in solar solutions because frequently solar ...

Final Program Now Available for GRC Annual Meeting & GEA Geothermal Energy Expo

GRC Annual Meeting & GEA Geothermal Energy Expo - Final Program from

FINANCIAL NEWS

Carl is Editor & Publications Manager at the American Wind Energy Association, where has worked since 2006. At AWEA he oversees AWEA's online and print publications including the Wind Energy Weekly, Windpower Update, and other products. He has wor...

CURRENT MAGAZINE ISSUE

Volume 18, Issue 4
1507REW_C11

STAY CONNECTED

To register for our free
e-Newsletters, subscribe today:

SOCIAL ACTIVITY

Tweet the Editors! @jennrunyon

FEATURED PARTNERS



EVENTS

Doing Business in Europe – in partnership with GWEC, the Global Win...

There is now 128.8 GW of installed wind energy capacity in the EU (appro...

Doing Business in South Africa – in partnership with GWEC, the Glob...

Wind Energy in South Africa has been expanding dramatically, growing fro...

Distributed Wind Energy Workshop

Description: Distributed wind energy is electricity that is produced for...

COMPANY BLOGS

Clean Energy Patents Maintain High Levels in First Quarter, Solar L...

U.S. patents for Clean Energy technologies from the first quarter of 201...

Fact Check: AWEA represents American wind power

The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) is proud of its members for ...

Koch Professor drops his Koch title, still makes same errors plus s...

The Koch Professor’s title isn’t the only thing that’s...

NEWSLETTERS

Renewable Energy: Subscribe Now

Solar Energy: Subscribe Now

Wind Energy: Subscribe Now

Geothermal Energy: Subscribe Now

Bioenergy: Subscribe Now  

 

FEATURED PARTNERS