By Tom Kleckner
For the last two years, SPP and ERCOT have been saying, “Anything you can do, I can do better” in their friendly competition to see which can produce more wind energy or a greater share of its production.
Both grid operators set new records for wind generation this month, with SPP producing a new wind peak of 16.4 GW at 7:40 a.m. on Dec. 20, six days after ERCOT topped out at a record 19.2 GW on Dec. 14.
SPP’s previous record of 15.7 GW was set in December 2017. ERCOT, which established its latest record just seven minutes into the new day, eclipsed the old mark of 17.9 GW, set Nov. 12, by almost 7%.
ERCOT may produce more wind energy — it has 22 GW of installed wind capacity, while SPP recently passed the 20 GW level — but SPP relies on wind for more of its capacity. On April 30, it served 63.96% of its load with wind energy, and it is making plans for wind-penetration levels of 70%.
SPP became the first North American grid operator to top the 50% wind penetration level in February 2017.
ERCOT’s high for wind penetration is 54.22%, set in October 2017. Wind penetration was only 51.53% at the time of its latest wind peak.