Texas needs to upgrade its energy grid to support the integration of new renewable power sources

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The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) has warned that Texas must upgrade its electricity transmission grid to accommodate the growing proportion of renewable energy generation.

Without such upgrades, the state could face significant curtailments of wind and solar power generation by 2035.

According to the American Clean Power Association, Texas holds the leading position in the United States for installed wind energy capacity and is second in terms of solar capacity and storage.

Wind energy alone contributes to 21% of the state’s total electricity generation.

The EIA estimates indicate that the combined capacity for wind and solar generation in Texas’s power market is expected to double by 2035. This significant expansion will contribute to a growing portion of renewable energy within the state’s overall generation.

The administration, in a recent report addressing the transmission limitations on renewable energy expansion in Texas, cautioned that without grid upgrades, curtailments of wind and solar generation will surge significantly.

To maintain power system reliability, grid operators need to maintain a balance between supply and demand.

If there is an excess of wind and solar power available beyond the grid’s capacity, operators are compelled to curtail wind and solar generation to ensure grid stability.

According to the EIA, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) reduced 5% of its overall wind generation and 9% of its utility-scale solar generation last year.

However, if improvements to the grid are not implemented, these curtailments could increase significantly to 13% of the total available wind generation and 19% of the solar generation by 2035.

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In its analysis, the administration stated that ERCOT presently holds the highest amount of renewable generation in the nation. This achievement is attributed to substantial wind resources and a concentrated investment in the electric transmission system.

The EIA warned that if the electrical transmission network and storage capacity of ERCOT are not expanded, there will be an increase in congestion and curtailments.

Additionally, the EIA highlighted that the anticipated robust growth of renewable energy in ERCOT over the next ten years might face limitations due to insufficient transmission capacity.

Source : oilprice.com

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