August 22, 2009

Wind goes up, wind goes down -- only one gets reported

A Bonneville Power Administration press release on August 14 announced that earlier in the month, 6:19 p.m. on Aug. 6, wind energy production reached a new high of 2,089 megawatts, 92% of the total installed wind capacity on BPA's grid.

Production levels for wind, the press release says, had been high for the preceding week and continued to be good through the following week.

As the chart below shows (click on it to enlarge), however, wind production (the blue line at the bottom of the chart) fluctuates quite a bit, and the rises and falls of its production rarely coincide with those of actual demand (the red line at the top of the chart).

Furthermore, from Aug. 15 to Aug. 20, wind production was virtually nil the whole time.

Not surprisingly, the latter "milestone" was not as widely touted.

We thank Gary and Kris Troyer at the KandG blog for watching these numbers and capturing the earlier production graphic from BPA.

wind power, wind energy