Texas wind power helped reliability during Super Bowl, winter storms

During last week’s rolling blackouts in Texas, wind power kept flowing to the utility system

Dallas, February 7, 2011 — The expected electricity use at Cowboys Stadium was offset 100 percent with the purchase of wind energy credits.

That ensured that for every megawatt-hour of electricity used to power the event and facilities, directly and indirectly, an equivalent amount of wind energy was generated at a wind farm in Texas.

According to the game’s official website, that means all the power in the stadium before, during, and after the game — keeping the food hot and the beer cold, and powering the jumbo screens, TV cameras, halftime show, and stadium lights — as well as all the electric use at four North Texas hotels used by the NFL.

Texas leads the nation in wind power capacity. During last week’s rolling blackouts in Texas, when a record winter storm suddenly took thousands of megawatts in fossil fuel capacity offline, wind power kept flowing to the utility system and supplied close to 3 million households with electricity.

Trip Doggett, CEO of the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, the Texas grid operator, told the Texas Tribune that in the critical period when the state’s utility system needed power the most, “I would highlight that we put out a special word of thanks to the wind community because they did contribute significantly through this timeframe. Wind was blowing, and we had often 3,500 MW of wind generation during that morning peak, which certainly helped us in this situation."

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