ERCOT: Cold front spurs new winter demand, wind generation records
- Winter demand on the Texas grid hit a new record this week, spiking to 57,958 MW on Monday during a bout of cold weather and besting the previous record of 57,265 MW set in 2011, Platts reports.
- However, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) also said the cold front brought increased additional wind into the territory, helping set a new record for "instantaneous wind generation output."
- Both demand and wind generation in ERCOT have been rising; the forecast peak demand this fall was more than 9% above last year's estimates.
Records have been falling in ERCOT quickly, but at least during winter, they have tended towards the generation side as the state adds more wind facilities. But this week, spurred by the cold front that blanketed much of the country, the Texas grid operator also bested a five-year-old demand record.
On Dec. 19, demand reached almost 58,000 MW compared with the previous record set Feb. 10, 2011. "This new winter record exceeds the previous December demand record of 53,642 MW," ERCOT added in its announcement — a mark set in 2013.
But along with the demand, the grid operator said that as the front blew into the state, over the weekend, the ERCOT system "also experienced a new record for instantaneous wind generation output." Wind output reached 15,195 MW just after 6 p.m. on Dec. 17, topping the previous record of 15,033 MW set the month before.
In November, the new wind generation record meant the carbon-free power was meeting about 45% of power demand at the time. More than half the power, almost 9,000 MW, was produced in West and North Texas, according to ERCOT officials.
Last year, wind produced almost 12% of energy used in ERCOT. This October, wind generation was serving 14.7% of demand.
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