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More Wind Energy Generation Records
By Chris Martin
AMARILLO -- Wind energy continues to work well for the Texas Panhandle. In fact, the turbines are setting new records for the state.
The weather on March 26 brought rain and more than a little wind. It was enough wind to get a record amount of electricity.
For the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, whose grid powers most of the state, the generation was more than 10,000 megawatts.
Of the energy that is produced in our area, some of it goes to ERCOT, and it's used downstate.
For the entity that covers the Panhandle, Southwest Power Pool, the record is over 7,700 megawatts, set on March 18.
Of course this area has been great for the industry.
"Where we're located in this part of the country, we've got access to this great wind, we're only going to see this continue. With or without a tax credit i really believe there's going to continue to be interest in developing wind resources in this region," said Wes Reeves, of Xcel Energy.
That Wind Energy Tax Credit expired at the end of 2013, but the industry continues to grow, and has even helped in times of need.
"This last year, the polar vortex that came through, actually wind energy saved parts of Texas from having blackouts and rolling brownouts. They had two energy production groups go down, so wind energy is constantly being utilized," said Steve Myers, Executive Director of Class 4 Winds.
Growth is expected, and plenty of projects that used the tax credit have yet to be built.
"I think, just seeing those higher numbers just shows us that the industry is maturing in this region, a lot of plans were made many years ago, and they're coming into fruition. So we're really seeing the benefit now," said Reeves.
Wind energy makes up for about 4% of the nation's electricity needs. Texas leads the country in wind energy, Iowa and California are right behind us.