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Texas Breaking Wind Power Records

Texas is the largest wind power producer in the United States, but its recent capacity efforts have broken records. And there are more megawatts on the way.
April 3, 2014, 12pm PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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Texas’ position as worldwide leader in wind power was confirmed at the end of March, when the state’s wind power operations set two records. “At 8:48 pm [March 26], wind power was feeding 10,296 megawatts of power into the state’s electricity grid, according to the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, blowing past the previous record of 9,681 megawatts. The 10.3 gigawatts of wind power worked out to nearly 29 percent of all power consumed in the state at the time,” writes Smith.

“The following morning, on Thursday, Mar. 27, Texas hit a wind power share record, when an unprecedented 38.43 percent of the state’s power came from windmills (unprecedented for Texas at least — wind power production in Denmark has at times exceeded the country’s total demand for electricity…”

In more signs of how thoroughly Texas has adopted win power as an essential component of its electricity grid, Houston is the country’s largest municipal purchaser of renewables and Austin and Dallas are the third and fourth, respectively.

“At present, there are more than 12 gigawatts of installed wind capacity in the state — that’s more than the mandated 10 gigawatts by 2025 according to the state’s renewable portfolio standard. Another 8 gigawatts are planned or under construction, in addition to more than 26 gigawatts being considered in a more tenative [sic] manner.”

Smith’s coverage of Texas’ wind power infrastructure includes analysis of the Competitive Renewable Energy Zones initiative and the benefits of the renewables business for companies like Berkshire Hathaway.

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Published on Thursday, April 3, 2014 in Next City
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