March 9, 2010

Texas sets wind energy record

March 5 - The NY Times reports that Texas, the nation's wind-power leader, set a new record for wind generation this morning, when — at 6:37 a.m. — about 19 percent of the electricity on the state's main grid was supplied by turbines.

The 6,272-megawatt peak — which does not include turbines in the windy Panhandle because that region is on a different grid — surpassed another record, set last Sunday near midday. 
The state's overall wind average is significantly lower than these spikes: Last year Texas got 6.2 percent of its electricity from wind, according to Dottie Roark, a spokeswoman for the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, which operates the grid serving most of the state. 

At the same time, Hawaii is moving forward on achieving its goal of generating 70% of its energy from clean energy by 2030. U.S. Secretary of Energy Steven Chu announced that the Department of Energy has offered a conditional commitment on a $117 million loan guarantee to finance the construction and start-up of an innovative 30 megawatt (MW) wind energy project in Kahuku, Hawaii.

Kahuku Wind Power, LLC will install twelve 2.5 MW wind turbine generators along with a battery energy storage system for electricity load stability. The loan guarantee is being supported by funds made available from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

"This investment will create jobs and cut our dependence on oil, while promoting America's leadership in the global race for the clean energy industries of tomorrow," said Secretary Chu.

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