General and Technology
Why is Kansas behind?
The short answer: It's complicated, and thoughtful people disagree. Wind proponents say the state has provided little leadership, either through regulation or incentive. State officials say Kansas has been perceived as being anti-wind, which has encouraged citizens opposed to wind. Utilities insist they're embracing wind just as fast as they can. ...Many utilities maintain that adding any significant quantity of wind-powered generation will make the electric grid too unstable, because you never know when the wind will start blowing. Or stop. ..."They [wind turbines] could never, ever serve even one home," he said. That's because at some point the wind will stop but demand for electricity hasn't. ...in order to make this wind power available, Austin Energy had to line up a back-up source of electricity for nearly all its wind energy. The Electric Reliability Council of Texas, which operates the electric grid in much of Texas, requires all utilities file an energy plan, every day, that shows how much electricity it expects its customers to use during every 15-minute period of the next day, and where it plans to get that power from.
The 9 percent rule
If the power source is a wind farm, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas counts only 8.7 percent of the farm's rated capacity. Never mind wind farms typically produce 20 percent to 40 percent of their rated capacity in the long term. What matters is the short term.