Supply of Renewable Wind Power Surges in Texas with some Plant Closures

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Market Upheaval In the U.S., hydraulic fracturing techniques used to drill shale have produced a flood of cheap natural gas. That, combined with the growth in wind and tepid customer demand, is upending power markets, leading to plant closures and bankruptcy for some generator owners.

Duane Tilden‘s insight:

>Traditional power companies across the U.S. and Europe are struggling to compete in wholesale markets with newer generators supplying subsidized wind and solar energy. In Texas, wind has more than doubled in the past six years and now makes up 13 percent of the state’s generation capacity.[…]

Falling Prices – Electricity prices for 2014 also have fallen. The on-peak North Texas power price for next year has dropped 19 percent since reaching a peak on May 23, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

During a heat wave in the first week of August, ample wind supplies served to keep a lid on prices that would’ve normally spiked from the higher demand, NRG Chief Executive Officer David Crane said during a call with investors on Aug. 9. “Wind energy reduces electricity prices and that is good for consumers,” said Michael Goggin, an analyst for the American Wind Energy Association, an industry trade group. “Wind energy has no fuel costs, allowing it to replace more expensive and polluting sources of energy.”

Once complete, Oncor’s power lines will be part of a system that can eventually deliver about 18,500 megawatts of wind power, nearly double the amount now available in Texas and 25 percent of the state’s current generation capacity.<

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