Katie Coleman Quoted in RECHARGE on the Impact of Wind Power on Texas’ Electric Grid

“Wind power’s summer weak-spot is a nail-biter for Texas”

Texas wind blows mostly hard, but generally not when the power is needed most – during sizzling hot afternoons in June through September, when electric use soars.

That weak performance presents a challenge for ERCOT, the main Texas grid operator, which expects record 74,853MW peak load this summer and a historically low 7.4% planning reserve margin versus 11% a year ago and the state’s 13.75% target.

…“Last summer, the wind certainly showed up. That was by far the biggest wild card and will continue to be the big wild card. I don’t think we know enough yet how reliable that is,” Katie Coleman, a partner at Thompson & Knight law firm, told a recent Infocast ERCOT conference here.

“I think we could have seen lot higher prices if the wind didn’t perform the way it did,” said Coleman, whose practice includes energy markets and regulatory law.