An organization that manages transmission systems across the central US announced on Tuesday that it broke a record for wind penetration in North America. On Sunday at 4:30am, Southwest Power Pool (SPP) became the first regional transmission organization (RTO) to serve 52.1 percent of its load using wind energy.
SPP also set the previous record in April 2016 with 49.2 percent wind generation. A record previous to that was set by the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) in late March 2016, when the organization hit 48.28 percent wind penetration at 1:10am.
Records for wind penetration, which measure the amount of total load supplied by wind on a moment-to-moment basis, are being broken more frequently these days, on a regional and internal level. As RTOs, which generally serve large areas and cross state lines, add more wind turbines to their portfolios, wind is becoming a more important part of the energy mix. SPP noted that “wind is now the third most-prevalent fuel source in the SPP region,” which covers 550,000 square miles of territory in Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, and portions of neighboring states. Natural gas and coal are still the primary fuel sources for SPP, but the organization said that wind accounted for 15 percent of its generating capacity in 2016.
Source: Wind penetration on central US grid hits 52% Sunday night, breaking record | Ars Technica