NEW WIRES, RECORD WIND
Texas wind power sets record as congestion eases
Eileen O’Grady (w/Walter Bagley), November 30, 2009 (Reuters)
"…The amount of electricity produced from wind farms [in Texas, the U.S. state with the most capacity to turn wind into electricity,] on the evening of Oct. 28 set a record at 6,223 megawatts, nearly 70 percent of the 8,916 MW of installed wind capacity in the Electric Reliability Council of Texas [surprising even the power grid operator], ERCOT said…
"Electricity produced from wind turbines generally averages 30 to 40 percent of the nameplate capacity…In the pre-dawn hours that day, ERCOT recorded 5,667 MW of wind generation, 25 percent of the existing load at the time."
There's the east, the west and Texas-ERCOT. (click to enlarge)
"Wind generation, which has been steadily climbing in Texas since 2006, has outstripped the 4,000 MW of existing transmission capacity available to move the power from remote areas of West Texas, where wind farms are located, to large cities, like Dallas and San Antonio, that consume the power…So far this year, wind accounted for 6 percent of the electricity produced in ERCOT, up from 4.6 percent a year ago.
"Trip Doggett, ERCOT's interim chief executive, attributed October's wind record to a 200-mile private transmission line built by a unit of FPL Group and other unique factors…NextEra Energy Resources' new 345-kilovolt line, dubbed the "Texas Clean Energy Express," can move 950 MW of power from two NextEra wind farms in West Texas to ERCOT's South zone, effectively removing that generation from previously congested transmission paths…"
Texas is setting the standard in U.S. wind. (click to enlarge)
"While Doggett said the 6,200 MW of wind on the grid was "unusual," he predicted it's a sign of the future…Power output from wind turbines can rise and fall rapidly as weather fronts pass through, creating a challenge for the grid operator to keep electric supply and demand in balance…[But since a February 2007 disruption] ERCOT has improved its wind forecasts and West Texas wind farms' volatility has been somewhat offset by new wind farms built along the Texas coast.
"Texas is working to add more than 2,300 miles of transmission in a $5 billion plan to expand wind capacity to 18,500 MW by late 2013…Developers are seeking to add nearly 44,000 MW of wind, more than half the new generation seen in planning stages over the next few years…"