Renewable energy shatters records in the U.S.

Renewable energy shatters records in the U.S.

E&E News reports:

Renewable energy is breaking records across the U.S.

Wind and solar accounted for 76 percent of electricity production in Texas’ primary power grid last Friday. The next day, New England set its own record, with 45 percent of its power coming from wind, solar and hydropower.

Within the last month, grid operators have reported record solar generation in the Midwest, record wind generation in New York and record renewable generation in the mid-Atlantic, according to data collected by, a website that monitors electricity markets around the country.

The milestones represent a snapshot in time, a mere hour of a day when renewable generation surges on one of the country’s regional electric grids, all of which remain firmly dependent on fossil fuels.

But together they paint a picture of an evolving power system. Wind generated almost twice the electricity as coal last year on the grid managed by the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, which serves about 90 percent of the state’s power demand. Rooftop solar regularly tops generation in New England on sunny days.

Even gas- and coal-rich grids like PJM Interconnection, which runs through states from New Jersey to Illinois, have started to observe a shift. All of PJM’s top 10 days for solar generation have occurred within the last two months, though renewables remain a fraction of the grid’s total power mix.

“It shows how quickly you can add these new resources,” said Ric O’Connell, executive director of GridLab, a clean energy consulting firm. “We can move fast. These grids do evolve quickly.” [Continue reading…]

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