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Wind Sets Record,
Out-Generates Hydro

by Staff
BPA Journal, November 2012

Two symbolically significant events took place in the early morning darkness Oct. 16.

It was one thing for wind generation to set a new hourly record with 4,273 megawatts. It was another, more surprising, event when wind generated more power than hydro for the first time.

At 2:50 a.m., wind generated 3,169 megawatts while hydro generated 3,165. Following its usual variability, wind out-generated hydro off and on through the day. In the wake of the passing weather front, wind was generating less than 100 MW by 1 p.m. the next day.

"These were interesting milestones in the history of wind generation in the Northwest," says Elliot Mainzer, executive vice president for Corporate Strategy.

When the wind generation exceeded hydro generation that early morning, it represented about 38 percent of regional and export load.

It is noteworthy that both events took place during light load hours. When BPA has had to invoke its oversupply management protocol to limit wind generation, it has been during light load hours in the spring when hydro is generating vast amounts

Wind Sets Record, Out-Generates Hydro
BPA Journal, November 2012

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