Calm Winds = No Wind Power = Texas Power Shortage

This still photo of a Texas wind farm represents 
the stationary blades tomorrow morning.
[kut radio]
Texas is the #1 state for wind energy. So, when the winds calm -- as they usually do when it is extremely hot and cold -- the state runs short of electricity.

Sure enough. ERCOT, Texas' energy regulator, says power is going to run short tonight and "until further notice." They are asking that air pollution rules be temporarily waived so that all possible fossil fuel generation can be used. 

Here is ERCOT's forecast for wind power (blue) through the night. Texas wind capacity of 33.13 Mw. It will be 6% of capacity when it is coldest tomorrow morning. Of course, there will be no solar at that time (darkness).
For what the state has spent on wind, they could have built a reliable -- and carbon free -- nuclear power plant.  

Most of Texas' wind energy is in the northwest part of the state. Keeping in mind the wind has to be between 6 and 26 mph for the turbines to turn, winds are going to be below that in the northwest part of the state. 
You could triple the number of turbines and it would not matter -- calm is calm. There would still be a shortage. 

Temperatures will, by Texas standards, be quite cold tonight -- with a few areas in the single digits.
So, we learn this lesson over and over. Wind energy is highly unreliable and is most likely to fail when it is needed the most. 


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