As total installed wind energy capacity grows, so will the Lone Star State’s ability to keep breaking wind energy records in the United States, says a recent report from the Energy Information Administration (EIA).
According to data from the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), the amount of wind energy flowing into the Texas electric system recently hit a few all-time highs, with October 22nd seeing a record instantaneous peak of 12,238 MW, which broke previous peaks on September 13th (11,467 MW) and October 21st (11,950 MW).
The wind energy generating capacity in Texas continues to increase, and these “substantial additions,” along with strong wind conditions and unseasonably warm temperatures, have boosted the wind energy output in the state, even though the capacity factor was slightly below that from previous peaks. ERCOT reported that during the recent wind energy peaks in September and October, overall capacity factor for Texas wind generators was 75 to 81%, as compared with the 83% capacity factor during a previous generation peak (11,154 MW) in February 2015.
The EIA predicts that because of additional new wind generating capacity coming online in Texas, coupled with the seasonal increase in wind conditions (autumn and spring are typically high wind generating months in Texas), the most recent record for instantaneous peak output will “very likely be surpassed in the near future.”
Due to the 2013 expiration and delayed renewal in 2014 of the federal renewable energy production tax credit, the addition of new wind generating capacity was virtually stalled until about mid-2014, after which both ERCOT and the US overall “experienced a strong recovery” in new wind capacity.
In the period between January 2013 and May 2014, less than 100 MW of new wind capacity was installed in ERCOT, in contrast with the period between June 2014 and September 2015, when more than 4,000 MW of new capacity was installed, with an expected additional 1000 to 2000 MW of capacity planned for installation before the end of 2015. For the whole US nation, the amount of new wind capacity installed during 2013 and the first half of 2014 was only about 1500 MW, as compared with the more than 7,700 MW of new wind generating capacity being installed between June 2014 and September 2015, with another 4,600 MW of capacity planned for installation in the US by the end of 2015.
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