Record Wind Generation Tests Texas’s Transmission System

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Wind power generation in Texas is growing so quickly that it is testing the limits of the state’s electrical grid.

The state set a record on March 5 when wind turbines generated 6,272 megawatts of energy, or about 19 percent of the electricity on the state’s main power grid.

That peak far exceeded the 6.2 percent average for wind power in Texas, whose 9,410 megawatts of total wind capacity make it the nation’s wind power leader.

But wind power’s growth poses a critical challenge for the state’s booming wind industry, which includes a 180-megawatt wind farm completed last fall near Corpus Christi in South Texas.

On some days wind turbines are slowed or shut down because the state doesn’t have enough transmission wires to send the energy from remote areas, where wind resources are great, to cities that need it, including Dallas and Houston.

The state is planning to spend more than $5 billion to expand and update its transmission system.

Article appearing courtesy Yale Environment 360.

photo: swisscan

Record Wind Generation

Tests Texas’s Transmission System

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Yale Environment 360 is an online magazine offering opinion, analysis, reporting and debate on global environmental issues. We feature original articles by scientists, journalists, environmentalists, academics, policy makers, and business people, as well as multimedia content and a daily digest of major environmental news. Yale Environment 360 is published by the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies and Yale University. We are funded in part by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. The opinions and views expressed in Yale Environment 360 are those of the authors and not of the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies or of Yale University.

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