Portland, Ore. - Wind has arrived. In early August, for the first time, the Bonneville Power Administration’s transmission grid reached a milestone, carrying more than 2,000 megawatts of wind power for more than an hour. On Aug. 6, after flirting with the 2,000-megawatt threshold for weeks, total wind generation on BPA’s system blew right past that level at 5:15 p.m., reaching a new all-time peak of 2,089 megawatts at 6:19 p.m. This doubles the peak of 1,000 megawatts recorded in January 2008.
To put that in context, wind turbines in eastern Oregon and Washington produced enough electricity to light all of Seattle and Portland for that hour.
“Wind power is growing rapidly in the Northwest,” said Brian Silverstein, BPA acting senior vice president for Transmission Services. “It’s the largest source of new power in our system. Within just a few years, we've seen more wind projects come on line, and BPA has been working quickly to connect the new projects into the regional power grid.”
“It's great to see wind power mature, along with BPA's ability to integrate it into the system,” said Rachel Shimshak, executive director of Renewable Northwest Project. “Renewable energy growth has resulted in thousands of new jobs, millions of dollars of investment in local communities, and provided a boost to creating a clean energy economy,” she concluded.