County site boosts wind electricity record

Multiple new records in electricity generated by wind power in the last week are being credited to strong gusts and a new Chautauqua County facility that recently went online.

Around the 10 p.m. hour Dec. 2, the first new record output of 1,803 MW was set. That total, however, was later surpassed by an 1,808 MW output during the 10 p.m. hour on Monday while the region and nation watched as the weather wreaked havoc on the New England Patriots and Buffalo Bills contest in Orchard Park.

Prior to this month, the previous record of 1,748 MW was set during the 9 a.m. hour on Jan. 11, 2020.

“This is a significant milestone and represents hard work and planning by stakeholders across government and the energy industry,” said Rich Dewey, president and chief executive officer of the New York Independent System Operator. “It is also a reminder of the rapid change impacting the bulk electric system and the need to carefully manage this transition. Timely development of new energy resources is critical to meeting the state’s renewable investment and decarbonization mandates while maintaining reliability.”

Officials said the new records were aided by the addition of two new utility-scale wind projects that recently connected to the bulk electric system including Cassadaga Wind, a 126.5 MW facility. When overall wind production peaked at 1,808 MW on Monday night, it provided 11% of all energy being consumed in New York. The record output represents 82.5% of the 2,191 MW of installed wind capacity in New York state.

“Renewable energy has a critical role to play in both growing our green economy and combatting the very real threat of climate change,” said Doreen M. Harris, president and chief executive officer of NYSERDA. “New York’s success in advancing wind energy development is helping to accelerate the state’s transition to cleaner, more sustainable energy resources and continues to bring vital investments, family-sustaining jobs and community and public health benefits to local communities at a time when New Yorkers need it most.”

One megawatt is approximately the amount of electricity required to supply 800 to 1,000 homes. Interested parties can track the NYISO’s real-time fuel mix on our website, www.nyiso.com. That web site, on Wednesday afternoon, showed a dramatic decrease in renewable use. During the 3 p.m. hour, hydropower made up 25%; wind was 0.6% and other renewables, including solar, were at1.2%. Dual fuels, including fossil fuels, was 32% of the mix with natural gas and nuclear power making up 41%.

The New York Independent System Operator is a not-for-profit corporation responsible for operating the state’s bulk electricity grid, administering New York’s competitive wholesale electricity markets, conducting comprehensive long-term planning for the state’s electric power system, and advancing the technological infrastructure of the electric system serving the Empire State.


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