Wind Nearly Stopped Blowing Through Midwest Turbines in June 2023

Across a multi-state region dubbed the Southwest Power Pool (SPP), energy production from the wind in June nearly stalled completely — a decline of shocking proportions. Technicians monitoring the Midwest’s massive fleet of wind turbines one day in early June rubbed their eyes in disbelief. In Kansas, wind has become a major source of electricity in recent decades after the erection of 400,000 turbines — about one skyscraping wind generator for every seven residents in the state.

Lanny Nickell, executive vice president and chief operating officer of Southwest Power Pool, which manages the grid and wholesale power in the central United States, described the magnitude of the wind generation collapse.

“On June 6 of this year at 10 o’clock in the morning, out of the 32,000 megawatts of nameplate wind capacity, only 110 megawatts of energy were actually produced. That’s less than 0.4% (of capacity). And what’s remarkable about that number is that you would expect across a broad geographic footprint covering all or parts of 14 states that you would see more wind than what we saw. “That’s an all-time low for us. So that’s been unusual.”

Is it climate change? What are meteorologists saying?

“We don’t know,” Nickell said. “The jury is still out on that and we’re still trying to figure it out.”

The Southwest Power Pool has already determined that the falloff in wind power production was not caused by grid problems such as not having enough transmission lines or by transmission congestion. And it was not just a one-day event.

To read full article by Martin Rosenberg in Flatland click HERE.