The wind was mighty on Thursday in Oklahoma and eight other states that make up the Southwest Power Pool as the regional transmission organization set a record for electricity produced from wind.
Wind provided about 6,400 megawatts of power to power pool utilities for several hours on Thursday afternoon and evening. That represented about 23 percent of the region's generating fuels in use, including coal, natural gas, nuclear and hydropower.
The organization has a total wind generating capacity of more than 7,260 megawatts, so Thursday's peak of 6,448 megawatts was about 89 percent of the wind capacity in the region. One megawatt can power about 200 homes during peak demand times.
While the number of megawatts from wind set a record, the organization had a higher share of wind generation this year on April 6, according to a review of the organization's data. Wind accounted for one-third of all electricity generation in the region for several early-morning hours on that day.
The organization measures its generating mix in five-minute and hourly increments. Coal is usually the top fuel by far, accounting for more than half of the electricity generation most days. This year, natural gas and wind have switched out for second place, depending on demand, time of day and how hard the wind is blowing across the region.
Michael Goggin, senior electric industry analyst for the American Wind Energy Association, a trade group, said wind tends to peak in the spring and the fall across most of the Southwest Power Pool region.
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