Texas wind generation breaks record, ERCOT reports

By: Erin Douglas |

Texas wind set a new record last week.

At 12:07 am Friday, wind power generated 19,168 megawatts of electricity for a brief moment, beating the previous record of 17,920 megawatts, recorded at 3:32 p.m. on Nov. 12, according to the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, the state’s primary electric grid operator.

A megawatt of electricity can power 200 Texas homes on a hot summer day.

More than 22,000 megawatts of wind generating capacity are installed¬† in ERCOT’s region, which includes about 90 percent of the state’s electric load.¬† West Texas generates over half of that. In total, ERCOT has nearly 80,000 megawatts of installed capacity among all types of power generators.

Wind capacity has grown rapidly in Texas over the past decade, tripling from 2008 to 2018.

System-wide prices in the wholesale market tend to be lower when more wind generation is being produced since renewable resources do not incur fuel costs when producing electricity. In 2018, ERCOT added intra-hour wind forecasting to better prepare the grid for huge gusts or lulls in five-minute intervals. This reduces the amount of reserves needed to ensure reliability.

“Over time we’ve really improved wind forecasting for every wind farm in the system,” said Dan Woodfin, ERCOT senior director of system operations. “As wind has continued to grow, our accuracy has improved.”

The peak demand record was set July 19, 2018, when Texans consumed 73,47 megawatts between 4 and 5 p.m. that day. Texas generates over a quarter of the nation’s wind energy.

Texas wind generation breaks record, ERCOT reports