10 votes

Solar power is bailing Texas out this summer

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  1. skybrian
    From the article: [...]

    From the article:

    To reduce demand, many Texans turned up the thermostat by a few degrees to help save power, and ERCOT’s emergency response program paid some large energy customers to scale back usage during peak times. And significantly, solar power, which has been the star of the Texas grid so far during this interminable summer, continued to set records for energy production. If your air conditioner has been steadily running all summer long, you can thank the mighty power of the sun.

    “We’ve got twice the solar we had last summer, and something like three times what we had eighteen months ago,” energy consultant Doug Lewin told me on Monday. “We actually set another solar record today, and we set one yesterday. Renewables throughout most of May and June, as we’ve been experiencing extreme heat, really were the difference between [having] a whole lot of conservation calls and potential rolling outages and not having them.”


    While wind produced a low amount of energy relative to its total potential on Monday (and ERCOT put out a release blaming the energy source for the grid’s struggles), both Dessler and Lewin said that was to be expected, and that the amount of electricity being generated by wind was within state projections for a summer day. (Thermal energy sources—gas, coal, and nuclear—also underperformed on Monday.) While the wind farms of West Texas don’t generate as much power as we might like on stultifying summer days, wind farms along the Gulf Coast tend to do well during those hours. “If you’ve been down to the beach in the summertime, there’s usually a pretty good afternoon breeze,” Lewin said.

    3 votes