Wind energy surpassed hydro energy production in the Pacific Northwest for the first time Tuesday morning as a major cold front moved through.
Roughly 85% of electric power load in the region came from wind, according to 3Tier, an energy forecasting software company.
“For those watching, operating, and trading in the region’s energy markets, today marks a milestone,” said Pascal Storck, 3TIER chief operating officer.
The cold front moved into Idaho this afternoon and wind plants on Idaho Power's system produced 519 megawatts for an instant. That is out of a peak capacity of 638 megawatts,said Brad Bowlin, an Idaho Power spokesman.
But wind turbines generated 450 to 500 megawatts of electric energy for most of Tuesday afternoon Bowlin later added.
The wind power represented about a third of Idaho Power's load Tuesday.