The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) reports that it broke a new wind power record on March 7, exceeding the previous record by almost 200 MW.
Wind output reached 7.599 GW at 8:41 p.m. CST on March 7, exceeding the 7.403 GW record from the day earlier by 196 MW. Prior to March 6, the record for wind output in ERCOT was 7.4 GW, recorded on Oct. 7, 2011.
At the time the record was broken, wind was supplying 22% of the total system load (34.318 GW).
Coastal wind farms supplied 1.018 GW of the new record, along with 6.581 GW from the west and north zones. ERCOT currently has 9.838 GW of installed wind power capacity – the highest of any state in the U.S. – including 7.531 GW in the western part of the state, 232 MW in the northern part of the state, and 2.075 GW in the coastal region.
"March is typically a high-wind month for ERCOT, but these new records are also due, in part, to a new transmission analysis tool we started using this week that allows us to move more wind energy from the west zone," explains Kent Saathoff, director of grid operations and system planning at ERCOT.
"The transient security assessment tool improves the accuracy of our transmission limits by improving our ability to establish the limits with the most current conditions available," he adds.
ERCOT began using the new tool on March 6 to calculate day-ahead and real-time west to north stability limits.
"In the past, we've had some slack built into some of our transmission limits, because these limits had to be set well in advance," Saathoff says. "The new tool runs an analysis on real-time conditions every 30 minutes, so it gives us a more fine-tuned analysis."