- The Southwest Power Pool set and then broke its record in two consecutive days this week for netting more than one-third of its electricity from wind energy, Platts reports.
- SPP set the first record on March 6, with wind energy supplying 44.8% of its electricity, and then 45.1% of electricity the following day as wind peaked around 9,715 MW with total load about 21,700 MW.
- A local meterologist said that increased wind from the El Nino weather pattern was the likely cause for a boost in wind generation, according to Platts.
Wind generation in the Southwest is steadily climbing as the SPP notched six records so far for wind energy supplying electricity, Platts reports.
SPP has been getting an average of 6,875 MW of its load from wind in March, 3,800 MW more than the 3,075 MW from wind generation in March 2015. SPP’s February wind averaged 5,800 MW, a 2,225 MW year-on-year increase, and its January wind averaged 4,350 MW, a 975 MW increase on January 2015.
The El Nino weather pattern will likely boost wind in March and April as the phenomenon “tends to increase wind patterns across the Plains states," according to Commodity Weather Group president and meteorologist Matt Rogers.
When wind achieved 45.1% of SPP generation on Monday, coal was about 36%, natural gas sat at 12%, and nuclear was about 11%. Diesel fuel oil, hydro, and solar made up less than 1% each of SPP electricity.
Wind generation composed about about 13.5% of SPP’s mix in 2015, and by the end of the year, SPP had 33,819 MW of wind capacity in some stage of development or construction.