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Southwest Power Pool forecasts wind records to fall this weekend

The Southwest Power Pool could set new records this weekend as the wind comes sweeping through the plains with a forecast to surpass 14,700 MW.

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SPP forecast load to peak at around 21,825 MW Saturday. If the wind forecast level is reached, wind would serve more than 67% of SPP's load on Saturday, breaking the current wind peak and wind penetration records, according to SPP data.

"We study and prepare for these conditions daily during normal operational analysis and are confident of our reliable operation of the bulk electric system," SPP Vice President of Operations Bruce Rew said in an email. "SPP continually works to update our processes, criteria and procedures to address the ever-changing complexities of the grid."

The current wind penetration record is 54.47%, reached in April, and the current wind peak record is 13,342 MW, set in February. In February, wind penetration reached 52.1%, making SPP the first regional transmission organization in North America to serve more than 50% of its load at a given time with wind energy, according to SPP.

SPP has added 1,410 MW of wind generation in 2017 with plans to add another 230 MW before the end of the year. In 2016, SPP added 4,000 MW in wind generation.

--Kassia Micek,

--Edited by Jason Lindquist,