Texas is a microcosm of the U.S. - gas plants can be and are sited near load centers, ie cities - while wind farms need to be sited where the best wind is.
U.S. energy transition goals are as much about transmission build outs as they are building more wind, solar and battery storage. Texas subsidized CREZ (Competitive Renewable Energy Zones) transmission to connect wind and solar power in western parts of the state to load centers largely in the central and eastern parts of the state.
As shown below, the top-20 wind and natural gas plants in Texas based on MWHrs of generation the last 12 months (ending Feb '22) are largely located in different regions of the state.
The visualization is interactive.
Wind farms are located where the best wind is - in West Texas.
Texas built CREZ transmission to connect wind farms in the western part of the state with load in the central and eastern part of the state.
Wind plants in the EIA monthly datasets represent 70-75% of total wind generation in the state. The aggregate capacity factor or utilization of the top-20 wind farms in Texas is 40% over the last twelve months.
Hale Community Wind Farm had the best capacity factor at 50%.
Natural gas plants in the EIA monthly datasets represent 85-90% of total gas generation in the state. The aggregate capacity factor or utilization of the top-20 natural gas plants in Texas is 53% over the last twelve months.
Deer Park Energy Center had the highest utilization at 71% while the Jack County plant was only run at 33% utilization.
To put the relative contributions in the proper context, the top-20 natural gas plants generated 105 TWHrs while the top-20 wind farms generated 26 TWHrs.
The top-20 wind farms in Texas generated more power the last twelve months than 11 U.S. states total power generation.
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