ERCOT: Wind energy provided record 45% of electricity on Dec. 20
The duration of wind energy meeting almost half of ERCOT’s demand showcases the grid’s ability to handle sustained amounts of the resource without significant reliability issues.
Texas had the most installed wind capacity of any state at the end of the third quarter in 2015 with 16,406 MW. The state’s 771 MW new wind capacity built in Q3 2015 was also the most of any state, and it led in wind capacity under construction with over 6,300 MW.
Texas’ renewables mandate of 5,880 MW by 2015 set in 1999 was a major driver in achieving its current wind capacity. The state met the mandate in 2005 thanks to wind energy, and the economic value proposition continued to drive growth until the capacity of the ERCOT grid, which serves about 80% of the state, was maxed out.
That led to the second important driver: Under former Governor Rick Perry (R), Texas designated competitive renewable energy zones (CREZ) in West Texas and the Panhandle, committing $7 billion to deliver wind energy to metropolitan load centers.