While the power grid across Texas was in a state of double jeopardy last week, Texas’ wind turbines—especially those along the Gulf coast —generated enough power to keep things humming during peak demand.
Officials with ERCOT repeatedly gave wind power’s contribution the nod during last week’s power crisis. ERCOT President H.B. Trip told reporters, “We would love to have more development of coastal wind. The diversity of coastal wind versus West Texas wind is an advantage to us in operating the grid.”
Wind-generated power comprises only a small fraction of the power pie—11 percent of the state’s total power capacity—but last week when the grid came close to initiating involuntary rolling blackouts, wind generation stirred up higher production. Turbines produced around 1,300 megawatts on Monday and rose to about 2,000 megawatts on Wednesday when the state set a new power demand record at 68,294 MW.
While lighter demand is expected this weekend—forecasted peak load is 62,000 MW—conservation is still encouraged. Temperatures are expected to continue in the triple digit range in the next week with Monday’s peak load projected at 66,000 MW.
Elsewhere in energy news…WTI crude closed down $0.34 to $85.38 and Brent crude settled up $0.01 to $108.03.
Natural gas closed down $0.048 to $4.060. The number of rigs drilling for natural gas in the U.S. rose by 13 this week to 896. This is the second consecutive weekly increase.
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