Electric Reliability Council of Texas Forecasts Record Peak Demand

by | May 10, 2019

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Electric Reliability Council of Texas Forecasts Record Peak Demand

(Photo: ERCOT’s control room. Credit: Electric Reliability Council of Texas, Inc.)

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) region is on track to break peak demand records this summer, according to the grid operator’s latest forecast. ERCOT says this means an increased chance of energy emergency alerts from June to September.

This week ERCOT released its final seasonal assessment of resource adequacy for the upcoming summer, a preliminary assessment for fall, plus an updated capacity, demand and reserves report. The final seasonal assessment of resource adequacy (SARA) report forecasts a peak demand of 74,853 MW, which the grid operator noted is 1,300 MW higher than the all-time peak demand record set July 19 last summer.

Every scenario that the Electric Reliability Council of Texas studied for the summer identified the need to enter energy emergency alert status.

However, officials on a media call this week said that doesn’t mean that rolling blackouts would be necessary, or even likely, Utility Dive’s Robert Walton reported.

“The grid operator can import power from outside the state and call for voluntary load reductions in times of extreme shortage, while Texas’ competitive market will also lead to prices that are likely to reduce demand,” he wrote.

ERCOT says it increased the planning reserve for summer 2019 to 8.6%. In addition, the grid operator’s updated capacity, demand and reserves (CDR) report calculates higher planning reserve margins between 2020 and 2023, mainly from the increased number of potential wind and solar projects in development that are eligible for inclusion.

LevelTen Energy’s Q1 2019 PPA Pricing Index, published on Wednesday, showed that ERCOT solar and wind prices decreased from Q4 to Q1. The price dip in Texas actually helped push down the overall index.

The 4th Annual Environmental Leader & Energy Manager Conference is coming up next week in Denver, but there’s still time to register. We look forward to seeing you there!

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