Nearly one-quarter of the electricity Puget Sound Energy (PSE) customers consumed on Feb. 12 came from the utility's three wind farms, marking a new one-day production record for the PSE energy facilities, the utility reports.
Between midnight on Feb. 11 and midnight on Feb. 12, the 1.1 million homes and businesses powered by PSE received 23.5% of their electricity from the utility's three eastern Washington wind farms.
Winds east of the Cascades allow PSE's three wind farms to generate power approximately two-thirds of the time. On average, the facilities are supplying about 10% of all the power used by PSE's electric customers.
PSE's first wind farm, Hopkins Ridge, came online in late 2005 in Columbia County. The Wild Horse Wind and Solar Facility, in Kittitas County, entered service a year later, and PSE completed Washington's largest wind farm to date – the Lower Snake River Wind Facility, in Garfield County – nearly one year ago.
On Feb. 12, the utility's wind farms produced 16.593 GWh of electricity. The new 24-hour record is enough electricity to power 503,000 homes for a full day, according to PSE.
"This milestone underscores the role wind power can play in meeting our energy needs," says David Mills, PSE's vice president of energy supply operations. "Wind is now a key resource for providing our customers with reliable, affordable electricity. And when combined with our hydro, natural gas and coal power plants, wind gives us flexible, cost-effective options for serving local homes and businesses."