On Thursday night at 9:20pm, Texas wind was responsible for generating 14,023 Megawatts (MW) of power. This value was a new record, surpassing the previous peak of 13,883 MW of wind power that was seen on December 20, 2015.
Perhaps even more exciting is that fact that - at multiple points throughout the evening – the Texas wind supplied more than 45% of the Texas grid’s power needs. At 11:08pm, a record 45.14% record for “wind penetration” (in other words, the percentage of total power being supplied by wind) was set.
While wind power production peaked in the evening on February 18, the Texas wind supplied in the neighborhood of 40% of electricity demand in the Texas grid throughout the day. What’s more, ERCOT’s grid operators were able to manage this high wind power generation without any blackouts or brownouts.
At the end of the weekend, wind power was still supplying a significant percentage of total electricity needs in the state – though it not nearly as much as on Thursday evening. All told, the wind peaked at 8,563 MW on Sunday with a maximum wind penetration of 27.15%.
To read more about how the events leading up to Texas’s latest wind energy milestone and why the state is likely to continue to set these records, see:
1. Texas Sets New All-Time Wind Energy Record - Robert Fares’s article from January here on Plugged In, which focused on the previous wind energy record for the state (from December 20).
2. Longhorns, Long Wires, and Big Ideas in Green Energy: a post that I wrote in 2010 for Discover Magazine’s The Intersection on Texas's growing role as a renewable energy leader.