Hitting a number of new records in October, many U.S. grid operators, including the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) and Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO), had a big month in terms of wind generation output.
On Oct. 22, ERCOT reached a record 12,238 MW of output at 12:48 a.m. – accounting for 36.83% of its overall load at the time. The grid operator had notched its previous record of 11,467 MW in September.
Not long after, MISO confirmed via Twitter that it had reached a wind peak record of 12,383 MW on Oct. 28 – surpassing its 11,930 MW record from Jan. 8.
Furthermore, a blog from the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) mentions wind output records reached on other U.S. grids for the month, including the Southwest Power Pool, ISO New England and Xcel's Public Service Co. of Colorado.
AWEA attributes the jumps in wind output in part to the country's "wind rush": advances in turbine technology that are creating new development opportunities for sites with, for example, lower average wind speeds. AWEA also notes the Competitive Renewable Energy Zone initiative in Texas as a catalyst for wind production.
"These records, and the steps utilities and grid operators have taken to achieve them, offer an important lesson for those looking to use zero-emission wind energy to comply with the Clean Power Plan," the blog states. "For one, they show that large amounts of wind energy, many times higher than the levels currently being used in much of the country, can be reliably and cost-effectively integrated."
The full AWEA blog can be found here.