Texas does it again in wind power

They say everything is bigger in Texas, and the state has definitely been setting some big records.

Wind energy recently supplied 40 percent of Texas’ energy demand for 17 hours in a row, a new record. At its zenith, wind made up 45 percent of the state’s generation mix. And today, ERCOT, the main grid operator for most of Texas, announced that in 2015 wind was responsible for 11.7 percent of Texas’ electricity generation. That surpasses nuclear power to make it the third largest source.

As Scientific American explains, this is so important because, “it shows that the rest of the Texas grid can handle a whole lot of wind energy for an extended period of time without suffering instability or brownouts that some predicted.”

This offers further real-world evidence that large amounts of wind energy can be integrated onto the grid without reducing reliability; many studies now show that wind actually improves reliability.

If it seems like we’ve been blogging about these records a lot lately, it’s because we have. Output records fell throughout the fall, a trend that is likely to continue into 2016. American ingenuity continues to drive technological advancements that reduce cost and improve efficiency, adding new chapters to this American success story.