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US Breaks Monthly Wind Records Again

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The United States wind industry has again broken monthly wind generation and penetration records, according to the country’s wind trade body.

The American Wind Energy Association reported this week that the US set new electricity generation and penetration records across the country last week, “From the ERCOT grid in Texas north to the MISO grid in the Midwest.”

In Texas, the state’s primary grid operator, ERCOT, reached a new record penetration level for wind of 45.1% during Thursday, February 18. Unsurprisingly, therefore, on the same day ERCOT hit an instantaneous peak wind output of 14 GW, up from its previous high of 13.8 GW in December, and setting the new US record for wind for a single system operator.


ERCOT has managed to hold on to its lead in wind output over rival MISO since last November, when the two were last battling it out. In October, the two were battling it out over the last week of the month, in which the two “spent the past week neck and neck in a race for record wind output, leading to a photo finish.” Specifically, 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.

Since then, as already noted, its peak wind output kept increasing to sit at a record of 13.8 GW in December.

Grid operators for the US Plains and Midwest States, SPP and MISO, joined February’s party with new generation records last week, and together all three have eclipsed new GW thresholds for output — ERCOT with 14 GW, SPP with 13 GW, and MISO with 10 GW.

These figures are unsurprising, given recent capacity news: According to the AEWA writing in January, the US wind industry posted its second strongest quarter ever in the fourth quarter of 2015, installing 5 GW as part of 8.6 GW for the whole of 2015. This news was followed up again by the AWEA, which revealed last week that the US wind energy industry installed more electric generating capacity in 2015 than any other electricity source.

Whichever way you look at it, the wind is blowing strong for the US wind energy industry.

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