The United States has set a number of wind output records throughout the month of October, thanks to windy conditions and the ongoing “wind rush.”
According to the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), the national trade association for the wind industry, a number of states and regions throughout the US vied for wind output records throughout October, specifically in Texas and in the Midwest. Specifically, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), the state’s grid operator, and the Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO), the grid operator for the Midwest, “spent the past week neck and neck in a race for record wind output, leading to a photo finish.” Apparently, Texas jumped into first place on October 22, before losing its lead a week later to MISO.
Joining the festivities was Colorado, which also set a new wind output record in October, as well as Lower Plains grid operator Southwest Power Pool (SPP), and grid operator ISO-NE in New England.
For those not wanting to embiggen the image above, ERCOT hit a peak wind output record of 12,238 MW on October 22, eclipsing its previous record of 11,467 MW set on September 13, and the US grid operator record of 11,930 MW, which was set by MISO on January 8, 2015.
However, not to be outdone, MISO jumped on top of that new record on October 28, setting a new record of 12,383 MW.
Xcel’s Public Service Company of Colorado set its own record on October 2, with a wind output of 2,352 MW. SPP, the grid operator for Oklahoma, Kansas, and Nebraska, and parts of neighboring states, hit 8,458 MW on October 18, and the AWEA is working with ISO-NE and PJM to validate preliminary data that indicate they also broke new records.
These wind records will no doubt play into the current policy debates surrounding the role the US Government will play in supporting the renewable energy industry. Onshore wind continues to show itself as a strong contender for cheap, reliable, and efficient energy provision around the country, growing ever-closer to grid parity with traditional, fossil fuel-based energy generators.