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Wind Power on BPA System Sets New Record

by David Haviland
KBKW, March 26, 2012

Portland, OR - Wind turbines in the Bonneville Power Administration's transmission grid generated over 4,000 megawatts for the first time on Sunday, March 11, producing nearly twice as much energy as that generated by coal, gas and nuclear plants connected to BPA's system at that time.

Wind generation on BPA's system surpassed the 4,000 megawatt milestone at 3:22 p.m., reaching a new all-time peak of 4,039 megawatts about an hour and a half later. BPA expects to have 5,000 megawatts of this clean, emission-free, renewable resource connected to its system by 2013, several years ahead of earlier estimates.

The growth of wind power on BPA's grid continues to exceed expectations by adding almost 1,000 megawatts in just the last 12 months. That's more than almost any state in the country added last year. Because BPA owns and operates three-quarters of the Northwest's high voltage transmission, the agency continues to play a vital role in the extraordinary development of this renewable resource.

"We continue to collaborate with wind developers and others to interconnect and integrate wind. This represents BPA's commitment to reliably and cost-effectively connect and balance a variable energy resource - one of the great engineering challenges of the 21st century."
- Brian Silverstein, senior vice president for BPA Transmission Services
These efforts include expanding and reinforcing the agency's transmission system to support wind integration. Here are some examples: "Renewables such as wind are an important part of America's energy independence and an important part of the Northwest's energy future," said Silverstein. "We are proud of this accomplishment."

These investments have provided thousands of jobs in the region, many in rural communities that have suffered during this recession.

Related Pages:
Wind in BPA Grid Tops 3,000 MW by BPA, North American Windpower, 9/14/10

David Haviland
Wind Power on BPA System Sets New Record
KBKW, March 26, 2012

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