News Release

February 13, 2013

Winter wind propels ERCOT to a new wind record of 9,481 MW

FEB. 13, 2013, AUSTIN, TX -- A strong weekend cold front that brought needed rain to much of Texas also propelled the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) to a new wind power record, with wind generation providing 9,481 MW of power at 7:08 p.m. on Feb. 9.

The generation provided nearly 28 percent of the system load in ERCOT at the time and surpassed the previous record of 8,667 MW set on Jan. 29 by 814 MW.

Of the total:

  • 7,205 megawatts (MW) came from West Texas.
  • 1,620 MW came from the Texas Gulf Coast.
  • 431 MW came from North Texas.
  • 225 MW came from South Texas.

One MW is enough electricity to power about 200 homes during periods when electric use is highest and about 500 homes during periods of typical consumption.

"As wind generation capacity continues to be added in ERCOT and additional transmission lines are being completed to accommodate that generation, we continue to set new records," said Kent Saathoff, ERCOT’s vice president of Grid Operations and System Planning. "While wind generation over the course of a day can change very quickly, improved tools help us predict those patterns and enable us to reliably  use this resource to its fullest potential."

ERCOT has more than 10,400 MW of commercial wind power capacity, with the addition of 372 MW in December. Wind power comprised 9.2 percent of total energy used in the ERCOT region in 2012, compared to 8.5 percent in 2011.

The completion of the remainder of the high-voltage transmission projects in the Competitive Renewable Energy Zones by the end of 2013 will continue to improve ERCOT’s ability to move wind power from West Texas to the metropolitan areas where demand on the grid is highest.

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) manages the flow of electric power to more than 25 million Texas customers -- representing about 90 percent of the state’s electric load. As the independent system operator for the region, ERCOT schedules power on an electric grid that connects more than 46,500 miles of transmission lines and 650+ generation units. It also performs financial settlement for the competitive wholesale bulk-power market and administers retail switching for nearly 8 million premises in competitive choice areas. ERCOT is a membership-based 501(c)(4) nonprofit corporation, governed by a board of directors and subject to oversight by the Public Utility Commission of Texas and the Texas Legislature. Its members include consumers, cooperatives, generators, power marketers, retail electric providers, investor-owned electric utilities, transmission and distribution providers and municipally owned electric utilities.