Texas, a state better known for oil production, just hit an all-time record of 8,521 MW from wind power (sent to its largest grid). 8,368 MW sent to the grid from wind power was the previous record. It was achieved twice this year, as well. The day when 8,521 was achieved was the last of a three-day run with an average of about 5,000 MW.
Critics of wind power point to government subsidies, but many forms of energy have received such support, including fossil fuels. But the State of Texas website explained: “As early as 1916, the federal government instituted income tax incentives to encourage individuals and corporations to drill for oil. During the 1930s, federally financed dams created hydroelectric power. From the 1950s onward, the federal government financed research into nuclear power. More recently, the federal government has provided research funding and other financing to expand the availability of renewable energy sources. 2 Virtually all U.S. energy resources have received or currently receive subsidies.”
A recent CleanTechnica post described how wind power in Texas is both sensible and efficient. The huge southwestern state has the best wind power potential in the U.S. and could have 1.9 million wind turbines installed, according to one estimate. This wind power trend isn’t only good for Texas.
New transmission lines could be built to send power out of the state. “The next real frontier for the renewable industry is to try to fix the transmission grid so you can connect what are natural markets that want the stuff with natural areas of production like the Panhandle in Texas,” said CEO Mike Garland.
An intra-state transmission line might be able to send 18,500 MW from rural to metro areas.
By Le My