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ERCOT declares there will be enough power to meet demands this summer

Bright Sun
Posted at 10:55 AM, May 06, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-06 12:04:59-04

AUSTIN, TX — On May 6, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) has stated there will be enough generation to meet demands this summer.

With an anticipated peak demand of 77,144 MW, ERCOT is stating they will have a 15.7% reserve margin this upcoming summer season.

This anticipated demand will break ERCOT's previous record of 74,820 MV that was set on Aug 12. 2019.

For perspective, 1 MV typically powers about 200 homes on a hot summer day.

Additionally, ERCOT has announced plans to visit select power plants across the state to review summer weatherization plans. While plant visits have reportedly occurred in the past for winter weatherization, this is the first time officials will visit plants for summer weatherization.

“We cannot control the weather or forced generation outages, but we are prepared to deploy the tools that are available to us to maintain a reliable electric system. We hope this report helps market participants prepare to assist the grid if needed,” said Woody Rickerson, ERCOT’s Vice President of Grid Planning and Operations

Other preparation for their upcoming summer operations, also include:

· Coordination with Transmission Service Providers (TSPs) to limit planned outages during the summer months

· Request generators to contact gas suppliers to identify any pipeline activities that would affect the availability of gas for their generators during the summer season

· Communications coordination with Market Participants

At the time of this publication, ERCOT is projecting there is a less than one percent chance of the grids being overwhelmed this summer due to extreme weather like a heat front.

ERCOT is also monitoring current drought conditions across Texas. After consulting with generators on their risk mitigation plans, the grid operator has stated in a press release he does not believe the drought poses a significant risk at this time.

ERCOT also announced that new generation resources are being added to the region, including a significant amount of utility-scale solar resources.

As of the end of April, utility-scale solar and battery storage projects accounted for almost 80% of the new resources being studied for interconnection to the ERCOT region.

While a higher reserve margin does reduce the risk of needing to declare emergency conditions, it does not eliminate that risk. A combination of factors during real-time operations can still reportedly result in the need to declare an energy emergency, making it important to distinguish between resource adequacy concerns and operational concerns.

So what is ERCOT and what role do they play in supplying electrical power in Texas?

ERCOT manages the flow of electric power to more than 26 million Texas customers, representing about 90 percent of the state's electric load. As the Independent System Operator for the region, ERCOT schedules power on an electric grid that connects more than 46,500 miles of transmission lines and 710+ generation units.

ERCOT also performs financial settlement for the competitive wholesale bulk-power market and administers retail switching for more than 8 million premises in competitive choice areas. ERCOT is a membership-based 501(c)(4) nonprofit corporation, governed by a board of directors and subject to oversight by the Public Utility Commission of Texas and the Texas Legislature.

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