By Tom Kleckner
Having cracked wind penetration levels of 50% and 60%, SPP has now set its sights on the once unimaginable 70% barrier.
The RTO’s latest record came early on March 31, when wind energy accounted for almost 14.5 GW, or 62.13%, of its 23.3-GW total load at 1:54 a.m. SPP said it also set a new renewable penetration record of about 64.7% at the same time.
Spokesman Derek Wingfield told RTO Insider it’s difficult to predict how high SPP’s wind penetration levels can go, but staff have studied the effects of 70% levels. He said the RTO had forecast 70% penetration in late 2017, but transmission outages wound up limiting wind energy that day.
“It could be a possibility again this spring as load reaches minimum levels,” Wingfield said.
SPP broke the 60% barrier on March 16, when wind energy met 60.56% of the system load. (See SPP Hits 60% Penetration Level, as Promised.)
It was one of five wind penetration records set during the month, and the sixth of the year.
In February 2017, SPP became the first North American RTO to exceed wind penetration levels of greater than 50%. Its all-time high for wind generation came in December, when the system generated almost 15.7 GW of power from wind farms.
“The records are an indicator of the evolution of our system, and wind continues to be added to it,” Wingfield said. “Reliability and economics drive our market, and we’re proud that we’re able to reliably manage so much wind and provide some of the least-cost electricity in the country, based on the resources available to us.”
The RTO has 17.75 GW of installed wind, much of it in Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma and West Texas. Another 5.3 GW of wind capacity has interconnection agreements but is not yet in service, and 35 GW of wind capacity is under various stages of review in the generator interconnection queue.
SPP’s Wind Penetration Records
- March 31, 2018: 62.13%
- March 16, 2018: 60.56%
- March 11, 2018: 58.49%
- March 5, 2018: 58.07%
- March 3, 2018: 57.87%
- Feb. 19, 2018: 56.88%
- Dec. 4, 2017: 56.25%
- April 24, 2017: 54.47%
- March 19, 2017: 54.45%
- March 6, 2017: 52.65%
- March 5, 2017: 52.11%
- Feb. 12, 2017: 52.08%