- A record-breaking 14,023 MW of wind-generated electricity was used on the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) grid at 9:20 p.m. on February 18, meeting over 45% of the system’s load. It exceeded the previous high of 13,883 MW reached on December 20, 2015.
- ERCOT delivers an estimated 90% of Texas electricity, with the balance in the Panhandle region coming from the Southwest Power Pool. Over 20% of ERCOT’s nearly 80,000 MW generation capacity comes from the state’s 17,713 MW of installed wind capacity, the most in the U.S.
- Texas is likely to set more records, as it led the U.S. in new wind build in 2015 with 3,615 MW, more than twice than second place Oklahoma’s 1,402 MW of new capacity. Texas also has over 53% of U.S. wind capacity construction activity, according to new numbers from the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA).
ERCOT manages electricity delivery for 162 members serving 24 million Texas customers, according to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). Its more than 46,500 miles of transmission cover a 200,000 square mile region that generates over $34 billion in annual billing.
The U.S. wind industry built 8,598 MW of new capacity in 2015, has a cumulative installed capacity of nearly 74.5 GW, and has reduced wind’s installed cost 66% since 2008, according to AWEA’s 2015 Market Report.
Over 4,000 MWs of power purchase agreements for wind were completed in 2015, with 52% coming from non-utility offtakers.
Wind energy now provides about 4.9% U.S. electricity and policies are in place that should make it possible for the industry to meet the U.S. Department of Energy forecast that it will supply 20% of the country’s electricity by 2030.
The recent extension of the $0.023/kWh production tax credit should support industry growth into the early 2020s.
Earlier this month, analysts told Utility Dive that the extension of tax credits for wind and solar installations could help states and utilities reach their Clean Power Plan emissions goals before the beginning of the compliance period, regardless of the recent judicial stay on the regulations set by the Supreme Court. That compliance period was originally set to begin in 2022, but deadlines will have to be changed and will likely be set back between one and two years as a result of the stay.