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Southwest Power Pool(SPP) Grid Continues Move from Coal to Wind

image credit: SPP Annual report

The Southwest Power Pool recently released their annual report for 2019.

The results show that wind generation continues to make steady progress in SPP and will soon become the No 1 fuel type in the region.  Below is the fuel share chart from pg 9 of the report.

So how does this compare to previous years? I have included the results from the last decade in the chart below. 

Note: coal has dropped by a share of 63% in 2011 to 35% in 2019.  This has occurred while NG share has remained relatively constant in the mid 20s. Meanwhile Wind has increased from 7% in 2011 ro 27% in 2019.

The next question would be - when will wind surpass coal and become the No. 1 source of electricity for SPP?

There is a chance that could happen this year - 2020. SPP also recently released their Winter of 2020 quarterly report.  For this quarter, wind was indeed the Number 1 source of generation with a 31% share. Coal was in 2nd with a 30% share and NG trailed in 3rd with a 28% share.

What will the grid look like by the end of the 20s?

By looking at the interconnection queue we can see which types of new generation will be built in the coming years.

Plenty of more wind will be installed in the SPP region in the coming years. Plus, we have a large amount of solar and storage planned. How much NG? Almost zero. Obviously no new nuclear either.

We can expect coal to drop to below a 10% share on the SPP grid this decade as wind continues to increase while solar and storage gain a foothold in SPP.  Nat Gas and nuclear will remain flat.

Joe Deely's picture

Thank Joe for the Post!

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Matt Chester's picture
Matt Chester on May 20, 2020 10:24 pm GMT

Interesting to see solar is not much of a blip yet, but the queue shows solar coming on strong in the coming years. Why the late start to solar in SPP?

Joe Deely's picture
Joe Deely on May 21, 2020 7:14 pm GMT

Good question- maybe because wind was a better investmentover the last decade?

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