Numbers don’t lie. And the numbers released last week in the latest ERCOT — Electric Reliability Council of Texas – planning and operations report for August shows that wind production and wind development is increasing in Texas. First, Los Vientos wind production in Cameron County began operations, with all 202 MWs going to serve Austin Energy. With this addition, there are 10,507 MWs of wind power installed in ERCOT, which covers about 80% of Texas. Second, three additional wind projects — Windhorst in Archer County, Miami Wind in Gray county and Cameron County Wind in Cameron — signed interconnection agreements and there are now some 6,000 MWs of additional wind with signed interconnection agreements waiting to be built. Coal has only one project — the Texas Clean Energy Project — an Integrated Gasification project — west of Odessa for 240 MWs, while natural gas has some 6,522 MWs of projects with signed interconnection agreements. Solar has 150 MWs of projects with signed interconnection agreements, and another 1,080 MWs undergoing studies. Interestingly, a number of storage projects are also being developed, with a 40 MW batter project expected to be completed in Harris County later this year, with several large Compressed Air Energy Storage facilities planned in West Texas in the coming years.
In terms of actual production, ERCOT’s Operation Reports in August found that wind averaged at least 10% of total energy production between October of 2012 and June of 2013, and only dropped to single digits in July and August when winds tend to be lower. Even so, it indicates that wind is now even contributing to summer production in a much more significant level than would have been imagined just a few years ago. ERCOT expects wind to top 16,000 MWs by 2015.