Historic Changes Taking Place to Texas Power Grid

Wind and solar are making big moves in Texas

Historic Changes Taking Place to Texas Power Grid
Photo by Andrey Metelev / Unsplash
2022 has been a remarkable year so far for renewable power in Texas

April 2022 wind generation in ERCOT was the highest monthly amount ever, exceeding the prior record set only a month prior; said differently March and April were two best months for wind generation ever in the state

Solar generation during the first four months of 2022 in Texas is up 83% versus 2021

48% of YTD power generation in ERCOT through April is low/no emission - defined here as nuclear, hydro, solar and wind compared to 37% just three years ago

Winds of Change Are Blowing in Texas

Driven by a combination of capacity additions and favorable wind, Texas produced almost 12 million MWHrs of wind generation in April 2022 following 11 million MWHrs in March.  

Only one other month in history has exceeded 10 million MWHrs.

Not to be outshined, solar generation in Texas during the first four months of the year was up 83% versus 2021 and a whopping 260% versus 2020.

Solar and wind generation nearly exceeded natural gas and coal generation during April, which would have been the first time in Texas history.

With natural gas peaking generation picking up with higher temperatures, its unlikely solar and wind generation will have a chance to exceed monthly natural gas and coal generation in the state until the fall or this time next year.

The trend is clear, however, when taking a look at trailing 12-month natural gas and coal generation as a percentage of solar and wind.  Just a few years ago natural gas and coal produced 4x as much power as solar and wind.  The trailing multiple dipped under 2x as much in April.

As more solar and wind capacity are built relative to natural gas capacity (no coal being built), the trend should continue.  Roughly 11.5 GW of solar and wind is in the planning stages in Texas versus 1.1 GW natural gas.