Houston — Southwest Power Pool could add more than 5 GW of wind generation capacity by the end of 2020, on top of the nearly 650 MW already added to the grid this year, according to grid operator data.
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Wind-powered generation has been the lead fuel source for the last six months across the SPP footprint, after first surpassing coal-fired generation during two months in 2019 and consistently since January. SPP set a new wind peak record of 18.343 GW on July 17.
The rise in wind generation as part of a national energy transition toward renewable sources has pulled down wholesale power prices.
"The impact of high wind generation is quite clear in SPP where we see lot of congestion and negative power price clears," said Manan Ahuja, S&P Global Platts Analytics North American power manager.
SPP South Hub on-peak day-ahead locational marginal prices have averaged about $18.75/MWh for the first half of 2020, 34% lower than the average for the same period in 2015, according to SPP data. Likewise, North Hub on-peak day-ahead LMP averaged roughly $18.50/MWh for the first half of 2020, 21% below the 2015 average during the same months.
New generation details
The SPP generation interconnection report includes more than 5.7 GW of generation capacity from all fuel sources listed as "on schedule" with fully executed interconnection agreements and commercial operation dates in 2020 dates, according to the latest data S&P Global Platts pulled.
The majority of new capacity, 2.5 GW, is expected to be added in Oklahoma, followed by 975 MW in Texas, 822 MW in Kansas, 522 MW in New Mexico and about 300 in each Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Missouri, according to SPP data.
Of the 5.7 GW with 2020 dates, nearly 550 MW of generation have dates listed in the first half of the 2020 but are not yet operational, according to the report. Those include 486 MW of wind generation, 20 MW of solar, 20 MW of battery and 20 MW from combustion turbines.
"This may mean the project is experiencing a delay in construction or is under evaluation for a generation modification," SPP spokeswoman Meghan Sever said July 21.
Of the nearly 5.2 GW listed as "on schedule" with commercial operation dates through the end of the year, all are wind generation with the exception of 17 MW of gas capacity, according to the report.
In addition, a 370-MW wind project was expected to come online in December 2021, but is currently listed as operational, according to the report.
"When a project is listed as IA fully executed/commercial operation with a future operation date, it is likely the result of receiving a notification from the interconnection customer that they have reached commercial operation ahead of the proposed or planned date," Sever said.
There is also 1.7 GW of generation in the "facility study stage" with commercial operations dates that have passed, while 5.88 GW have dates through the end of 2020, according to the report.
SPP generating capacity
SPP added more than 1.4 GW of wind capacity in 2019 to total 22.5 GW in capacity, behind 23.55 GW of coal and 31.2 GW of gas, according to SPP data.
SPP has 90.5 GW of generating capacity, as of January 10, 2020, with wind making up 24.9% of the market share but producing 27.4% of the energy consumed in SPP's footprint, according to SPP data.