Wind Power Keeps Breaking Records In Central U.S.

Mar 26, 2018

Early on the morning of March 16, wind provided 60 percent of the region’s electric needs. That number set a record, breaking an earlier one set only a week and a half earlier.

Wind power also recently set records for highest peak generation at 15,690 MW and continuously sustained generation of more than 13,000 MW for three days.

The Southwest Power Pool (SPP) oversees the region’s power grid, covering part or all of 14 states from as far south as Texas all the way to North Dakota. SPP COO Carl Monroe said his biggest concern with continued wind growth is its unpredictability. Sometimes it produces a lot electricity, and sometimes very little.

“The holy grail in a lot of people’s minds is storage and does storage get to a cost where it’s competitive to where you can use it to offset the intermittency of the wind,” Monroe said.

In 2017, wind provided a little more than 22 percent of all electricity in the region, second only to coal.

SPP Wind Records

Wind Penetration

  • Jan. 27, 2017 - 49.17%
  • Feb. 12, 2017 - 52.08%
  • Mar. 5, 2017 - 52.11%
  • Mar. 6, 2017 - 52.65%
  • Mar. 19, 2017 - 54.45%
  • Apr. 24, 2017 -  54.47%
  • Dec. 4, 2017 - 56.25%
  • Feb. 19, 2018 - 56.88%
  • Mar. 3, 2018 - 57.87%
  • Mar. 5, 2018 - 58.07%
  • Mar. 11, 2018 - 58.49%
  • Mar. 16 2018 - 60.56%

Wind Peak

  • Mar. 21, 2016 -  10,782 MW
  • Mar. 28, 2016 - 10,808 MW
  • Apr. 23, 2016 - 10,988 MW
  • Nov. 17, 2016 - 11,305 MW
  • Dec. 28, 2016 - 11,384 MW
  • Dec. 29, 2016 - 11,559 MW 
  • Dec. 30, 2016 - 12,335 MW 
  • Feb. 9, 2017 - 13,342 MW
  • Dec. 4, 2017 - 14,150 MW
  • Dec. 15, 2017 - 15,690 MW

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Brian Grimmett, based at KMUW in Wichita, is a reporter focusing on the environment and energy for the Kansas News Service, a collaboration of KMUW, Kansas Public Radio, KCUR and High Plains Public Radio covering health, education and politics. Follow him on Twitter @briangrimmett. Kansas News Service stories and photos may be republished at no cost with proper attribution and a link back to the original post.

 

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