Wind Power in Texas
The U.S. Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) Hourly Electric Grid Monitor provides data on hourly electricity demand and generation from the 64 balancing authorities in the Lower 48 states, including the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), the primary electric grid operator in Texas. On an hourly basis, wind output in ERCOT ranged from as little as 0.2 GW to as much as 21.2 GW in 2020, based on data through the end of September. On June 29, 2020, ERCOT reached an all-time high for hourly wind generation of 21.2 GW.
Wind penetration, expressed as the share of total demand satisfied by wind generation, set a new all-time record for ERCOT in 2020. On the morning of Saturday, May 2, 2020, wind generation contributed 59% of hourly electricity demand. Records for wind penetration are often broken in the spring because of highly seasonal patterns in both electricity demand and wind power output. In Texas, wind generation is usually highest in the windier spring season. The shoulder seasons of spring and fall are when electricity demand is relatively low because mild temperatures mean less electricity is used to heat or cool homes and businesses.