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ERCOT set record wind output amid windy weather

Houston — The Electric Reliability Council of Texas set a new wind output record of 19.2 GW in late Thursday, as a storm system was moving into the area with high wind.

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High wind generation was seen heading into the evening hours, starting with 18.4 GW at 9 pm CST Thursday and breaking the previous all-time high of 17.9 GW set in mid-November, and broke the record several hours in a row before topping out at 19.2 GW at 11:51 pm.

At the time when the record was set, more than 51% of the total load was served by wind generation.

Wind generation served over 54% of the total generation at one point in October 2017, the highest percentage on record.

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According to ERCOT data, wind generation capacity totaled 21.6 GW at the end of November and was expected to add another 1 GW by the end of this year.

Assuming the current installed capacity was all operational, the average capacity factor would reach about 89% when the record wind output was set, according to calculations from S&P Global Platts.

The US National Weather Service issued wind advisories and high wind warnings across west two thirds of Texas through Thursday midnight, and wind speed near San Angelo, Texas, reached as high as 32 mph with gust up to 45 mph.

The weather service also issued winter weather advisory across West Central Texas Thursday through early Friday morning, as some pockets in the region received up to 8 inches during the time.

Looking ahead, wind generation was expected to dial down Friday over the weekend through early next week, with wind generation set to average 15.7 GW Friday, 6 GW Saturday, 6.1 GW Sunday and 5.3 GW Monday.

-- Jeff Zhou, jeff.zhou@spglobal.com

-- Edited by Pankti Mehta, newsdesk@spglobal.com