On October 7, 2011, Texas set a new record for wind power output, at 7,400 megawatts produced. This comes as coastal wind farms begin to play a bigger role in supplying electricity to the State. The record accounted for more than 78% of the 9,400 MW of installed wind capacity in the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT).
Previously, the largest amount of the state’s wind farms were in West Texas, where wind blows the strongest during the evening and in the spring or fall months, when power demands are low. More than 1,200 MW of wind farm additions have been built closer to the coast, where wind patters are drastically different from those in West Texas. 15% of the 7,400 MW produced earlier this month came from coastal wind farms.
ERCOT anticipates that it will have 9,700 MW of wind generation by year’s end. More than 1,500 MW of wind power is in development for 2012, and Texas is adding more than 2,300 miles of high-voltage transmission lines to expand the grid by late 2013 to accommodate wind farm growth.