Texas On the Verge of Getting 10% Electricity From Wind

Earlier this week, we reported on the growth of the solar industry for 2013, and now we have some news for wind.

Power hungry Texas is on the threshold of getting 10% of its electricity from wind. Grid operator ERCOT says wind provided 9.9% of Texan electricity last year, up from 9.2% in 2012 and 4.9% in 2008 – that’s a doubling in just five years. And electricity demand grew 2.1% between 2012-2013.

Last March, wind hit a high of providing 15.2% of the state’s electricity.

During the extreme cold weather last month, utilities struggled with outages at conventional power plants and wind farms filled the gap, keeping the lights on with 2 gigawatts (GW) of energy.

This great growth in wind is possible because of the $6.8 billion investment in transmission lines that now carry energy from the windy western part of the state to the cities in the east. The build-out has already spurred huge investments in wind projects since it was approved in 2008, because developers know their will be markets for their energy. 

Wind Farm Texas

Texas, which has more wind installed than any other state, will soon join the 10% club – it will be the 11th state to get 10% of its electricity from wind. Iowa and South Dakota get 25% from wind.

Mammoth 8 MW Turbine

In related news, the world’s biggest wind turbine – intended for offshore wind – goes into production next year.

A prototype 8 megawatt turbine – 720-feet tall with 260-foot long blades – supplies power for 7500 European households (about 3000 households in the US).

The Danish National Test Centre for Large Wind Turbines completed testing on the turbine, which is being produced as a joint venture between Vestas and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries. 

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