- October was a record month for wind generation in four of the nation's seven organized markets, North American Windpower reports, as well as in Colorado.
- The Electric Reliability Council of Texas, the Midcontinent Independent System Operator, the Southwest Power Pool, the New England Independent System Operator, and Xcel Energy Colorado all set records for wind energy-generated electricity production during the month.
- On October 22, ERCOT got to a system record 12,238 MW of wind energy production, which was 36.83% of its load. On October 28, MISO set a system record with 12,383 MW of wind generation.
October 2015 is a month the wind industry won't soon forget. The resource set records from coast to coast due to an ongoing capacity buildout and technological advancements.
Along with favorable weather conditions, the records can be attributed to a “wind rush” of new construction created by the 2014 extension of the federal production tax credit (PTC) and higher capacity factors from advanced turbine technology, according to the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA).
Record levels of wind output in Texas can also be attributed to the completion of the $7 billion Competitive Renewable Energy Zone transmission expansion. It is delivering more West Texas and Panhandle wind to the ERCOT market.
The 2014 extension of $0.023/kWh PTC continues to sustain a wind rush due to crucial “under-construction” language. Projects that had already broken ground by the end of 2014 were given until end of 2016 to get online and qualify for the credit. The Senate Finance Committee voted 23-3 in July to extend the PTC for 2015, but House Republicans may not go along.
The U.S. wind energy industry had its second biggest Q3 growth this year, installing 1,602 MW of new capacity, according to AWEA’s just-released quarterly summary. The industry has put 3,596 MW of new capacity into service in 2015.
The industry’s cumulative installed capacity is now 69,471 MW and there are 102 projects in 25 states in construction, representing over 13,250 MW. Of that, more than 1,250 MW was announced during Q3 2015.