Wind Breezed Past Coal’s Capacity Factor in April

By [email protected] Seasonal trends, favorable conditions and ever-improving technology all came together in April to help America’s wind turbine fleet spin past coal’s capacity factor.

The Energy Information Administration’s Electric Power Monthly (Tables 6.7.A and 6.7.B) put wind at 44.8 percent, slightly above coal’s 43.4 percent — and just below the 45.7 percent of the nation’s combined-cycle natural-gas plants.

A closer look at these contributing factors will help give better context for this achievement, so we’ll review each in turn.

Seasonal trends

As seen from the chart above, the United States’ wind fleet saw its highest capacity factors around April, roughly corresponding to the nation’s

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