AUSTIN – During the second hottest summer on record, advanced power technologies made record-breaking contributions to the Texas grid, keeping electricity costs more affordable for Texas consumers and enhancing the electric system’s reliability.
Throughout June, July, August, and September, renewable energy production reached new heights and, on August 9, a new record was set as just over 31,585 megawatts of combined solar and wind energy served customers in Texas – a total that includes more megawatts than the maximum output of all electricity sources in forty-three states.
“Renewable energy’s record-breaking performance during one of our hottest summers on record was a financial blessing for Texas consumers who would have otherwise faced even higher electric bills,” said Judd Messer, Texas Vice President of Advanced Power Alliance. “The combination of these extreme temperatures and unprecedented demand growth in Texas over the last year pushed the ERCOT system into tight conditions more often than expected. If it wasn’t for cleaner, cheaper renewable power delivering for Texas, we would have undoubtedly had blackouts throughout the state.”
Solar energy provided expanded capacity during the day-time peak, providing nearly two times as much energy as the same time last year. Wind generation delivered power during hours of the day that are highly complementary to the output of our state’s solar fleet, beating seasonally adjusted forecasts for the vast majority of peak hours this summer. Energy storage, for its part, set ten new records for contributions toward meeting demand in ERCOT, just in August and September alone. This data confirms again that low-cost, water-saving, clean energy is more than capable of providing reliable power when the grid needs it most.
“A diverse mix of energy resources working together is the only way to ensure our grid achieves both reliability and affordability, and leveraging the strengths of each resource is key,” said Messer. “Renewable energy offers predictable, affordable power and should continue to be embraced by lawmakers who care about keeping the power on and keeping costs low for their constituents.”
Record-breaking renewable energy performance comes on the heels of the 88th Texas Legislative Session, where numerous bills were filed to halt the development of renewable power production altogether.
“Policymakers should resist the urge of politicizing important issues such as energy,” said Messer. “Instead, they should prioritize improving Texas’ ability to meet unusually high demand growth, such as expanding our transmission infrastructure to move electricity more efficiently from all power plants when we need it most.”
The Advanced Power Alliance is the industry trade association created to promote the development of wind, solar and energy storage as resources that can deliver clean, reliable, affordable power for American consumers.