Gridwatch 2022

We check back in on the grid this Monday afternoon and the wind ain’t blowing. Temperatures in Minneapolis are a comfortable 81 degrees, but the wind is blowing at a relatively calm 7 mph.

Last week, we monitored the electric power grid for the Midcontinent region of North America. This Monday, the temperature has dropped, at least in the northern part of the region and electrical demand has dropped accordingly.

But wind power is contributing only about a third of what it could muster this time last Thursday. Such are the vagaries of summer weather in the Midwest.

Wind power is contributing less than 5 percent of the total supply at 3:45 this afternoon. Solar is contributing another 2 percent. Wind is barely keeping up with the “other” category.

As a result, coal and natural gas are having to bear a disproportionate share of the load during this relatively mild stretch.

One hour later, total demand has continued to rise:

Solar output has now dropped below 2 percent of the total. Wind output has dropped below “other” and continues to fall. Again, coal and natural gas have made up the difference to match load.

The wind is expected to pick up after midnight tonight, just as electrical demand is dropping to its lowest point in the daily cycle.