Wind_turbine CommonsThe winds have been blowing hard lately  — so hard in fact that records are getting broken.

According to the organization that manages the state’s main power grid, wind farms generated 11,467 megawatts of electricity on Sept. 13th — or enough electricity to serve nearly 30 percent of all electricity consumed on the grid at that time.

That’s a lot of power, especially given that a single megawatt is sufficient to power 200 homes during a high-use period.

That September peak beat the previous wind record of 11,145 MW, which had been set on Feb. 19. This September peak also helped send wholesale spot energy prices briefly into negative territory. (This can occur during overnight hours when certain generators, like coal plants, bid slightly negative prices to avoid costly shutdowns.)

And then the record was broken again: this time on Thursday, Oct. 22. At about 1 a.m. wind generation reached 12,238 MW. That was enough generation to meet nearly 37 percent of demand at that time.

In separate reports, which you can find here, the organization that manages the state’s main power grid also projects that available generation — wind and otherwise — will be sufficient to meet forecasted peak demands during the fall and winter.

“As we head into the fall and winter seasons, ERCOT expects to meet systemwide peak demands in a broad range of operating conditions,” said Warren Lasher, system planning director for the Electric Reliability Council of Texas.

You can find more information about ERCOT, the organization that manages the power grid, in this 2011 TCAP report, found here.

For background about Texas wind power, check out this 2012 TCAP report found here.

— R.A. Dyer

What is the Texas Coalition for Affordable Power?

TCAP is a coalition of more than 160 cities and other political subdivisions that purchase electricity in the deregulated market for their own governmental use. Because high energy costs can impact municipal budgets and the ability to fund essential services, TCAP, as part of its mission, actively promotes affordable energy policies. High energy prices also place a burden on local businesses and home consumers.