Searing Heat Is Hurting Texas Wind Power

7.5.17

Temperatures are soaring across Texas, and that’s bad news for the state’s wind power generators.

Wind farms -- which now account for about a fifth of the state’s power mix -- are forecast to generate significantly less electricity this week as the heat builds and keeps turbines from spinning. Wind generation may peak at about 5,900 megawatts on Thursday and 6,900 megawatts Friday, less than two-thirds of what they totaled a week earlier, according to grid manager Electric Reliability Council of Texas, or Ercot.

The decline in power supplies may hit just as Texas needs them most. Temperatures are forecast to reach 100 degrees Fahrenheit (38 Celsius) in some areas, a heat that’ll have people using more power to blast their air conditioners. That may touch off a rally in Texas’s wholesale electricity prices as more costly fossil-fuel generators such as coal and natural gas plants step up to help meet demand.

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