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Texas Sets a New Record for Wind Electricity as Congress Extends Tax Credits
In a state where White Christmases are rare, many Texans saw their second Christmas Day snow in recent years as a strong cold front brought both winter chill and high winds. The high winds helped Texas set a new record for wind energy production as the state’s wind turbines were outputting 8,638 MW of power at 3:11 p.m. on Dec. 25. This amounted to just over a quarter of total Texas electricity production at the time, and bested the previous wind energy output record of set on November 10th of this year.
To put that amount of electricity production in perspective, it is enough to power around 4.3 million homes during average demand periods. About 75% of this wind power was generated in West Texas where the bulk of the state’s wind industry resides. Around 1,600 MW were being produced in the coastal region of South Texas.
Texas is a leader in wind energy, boasting a larger wind capacity than any other state by far. With 10,000 KW of capacity currently online and another 20,000 in the pipeline, the state has more electricity in West Texas than it can transmit to the population centers of Dallas/Fort Worth and Houston in the eastern part of the state. To address the bottle neck, the state has plans for a massive infrastructure upgrade that will see the construction of high voltage transmission lines to carry the power from west to east where it is needed by the end of 2013.
Continue to Part Two: Has the Wind Industry Peaked?