Xcel Colorado sets U.S. record with over 60% wind energy

It’s been a while since this happened (May 24, actually), but it’s never been previously reported, and impressive enough that we don’t want to let it go without a mention: Xcel Energy’s Colorado system has topped its old hourly penetration record for wind (56.7%), reaching 60.5% between 1 and 2 a.m. local time on that date.

During that hour, wind power supplied 1,874 megawatts (MW) of a total load of 3,100 MW, according to an e-mail we just received from an Xcel Energy official.

To my knowledge, this share of system generation has never previously been reached by a U.S. power system. At one point a few years ago, Portugal obtained 93% of its electricity from wind, but that was facilitated by its connections with neighboring Spain’s utility system.