ERCOT Celebrates 75 years as Interconnected System, 20 Years as ISO

Record Demand, Wind Generation Continue
Systemwide demand topped 71 GW, reaching 71,110 MW at 5 p.m. on Aug. 11. Weekend demand also set a new record, at 66,921 MW on Sunday, Aug. 7, at 6 p.m. Monthly demand records in September and grew to 66,853 MW on Sept. 19 and 59,848 MW on Oct. 5.

Wind generation also continued to break records in 2016 as installed capacity grew to more than 17,000 MW by November. Instantaneous output set three new records, peaking at 15,033 MW on Nov. 27. The percentage of load served by wind also set three new records in 2016, topping out at 48.28 percent on March 23.
Grid-scale Solar Emerges
Installed capacity of grid-scale solar nearly doubled in 2016, from 288 MW to 554 MW, and ERCOT put a new solar forecast in place to support reliable integration of this emerging generation resource.
New CEO Takes the Helm
Former ERCOT General Counsel Bill Magness became ERCOT's new president and CEO on Jan. 1.
Doggett Retires
ERCOT's longest-serving President and CEO Trip Doggett retired on Dec. 31, after more than six years in the role (including eight months as interim).
Record Demand Returns to Growing Region, Wind Continues to Grow
System-wide peak demand hit its first new record since 2011, at 69,877 MW on Aug. 10, and eight new output records for wind generation. Wind generation output peaked at 13,883 MW at 11:07 a.m. on Dec. 20. At 3:05 a.m. that same day, wind served up to 44.7 percent of load.
Wind Output Tops 10,000 MW
Wind generation output topped 10,000 MW on March 26, with 1,433 MW coming from Gulf Coast area generation facilities and most of the remainder coming from the West Texas region.
Competitive Renewable Energy Zones are Completed
Construction of about 3,600 miles of transmission lines is completed, fulfilling a goal set by the Texas Legislature in 2005 and enabling movement of more than 18,000 MW of primarily wind generation from the West Texas and Panhandle regions to more populated regions of the ERCOT grid.
ERCOT Launches First-ever Mobile App
ERCOT introduced its Energy Saver mobile app, which provides system conditions, pricing information, conservation information and more to subscribers.
New Records for Summer, Winter and Wind
ERCOT set a new all-time summer peak demand of 68,867 MW on August 3, in addition to breaking monthly demand records in February, May, June, July September and December. A new winter peak demand record of 57,315 MW was recorded on Feb. 10. ERCOT also hit an all-time high for wind output on Oct. 7, when wind generation reached 7,400 MW—more than 15 percent of the load at the time. Installed wind capacity surpassed 9,600 MW in 2011—maintaining ERCOT's lead as the top wind producer in North America.
Solar Generation Connects to Grid
Blue Wing 1, the first utility-scale solar facility in the ERCOT region, began operations in Bexar County.
Nodal Market Launches Dec. 1
On December 1, ERCOT launched a comprehensive nodal market featuring locational marginal pricing for generation at more than 8,000 nodes, a day-ahead energy and ancillary services co-optimized market, day-ahead and hourly reliability-unit commitment, and congestion revenue rights.
Peak Demand Exceeds 65,000 MW
On August 23, ERCOT recorded a new record high peak demand of 65,776 MW of power.
Doggett Named CEO
On May 27, former chief operating officer and interim CEO Trip Doggett was officially named CEO.
Nodal – New Go-Live Date
A new go-live date of December 2010 was announced for the nodal market implementation. Almost 6,600 miles of transmission improvements completed since 1999, and approximately 39,000 MW of new generation added since 1996.
New Wind Record
A record 3,220 MW of wind generation was added to the ERCOT grid for a total of 8,005 MW, maintaining ERCOT's lead as the top wind-producing state.
Retail Market Grows
Five years after launching the retail market, 46 percent of residential customers had switched from the incumbent utility.
Kahn Named CEO
On May 31, Bob Kahn, former Austin Energy deputy general manager, was named CEO.
Texas Moves Ahead of California
Texas moved ahead of California as the top wind-producing state.
Energy Usage Hits 62,339 MW
On August 17, a record high demand of 62,339 megawatts of power was used.
Nodal Market Protocols Approved
On April 5, the PUCT signed an order approving the stakeholder-developed protocols for the nodal market, with an implementation date of January 1, 2009.
One Fourth of Residential Customers Switched to Competitor
More than 2 million total customer switches to a competitive retail provider had been completed. Almost one-fourth of residential customers had switched to a competitive retail provider, in addition to 29 percent of small non-residential customers and 72 percent of large non-residential customers.
PUCT Receives Draft Nodal Protocols
In September, the Texas Nodal Team submitted draft nodal protocols to the PUCT.
First Cooperative Joins Competitive Market
Nueces Electric Cooperative (NEC) became the first cooperative or municipal utility to "opt in" to participate in the Texas competitive electricity market. NEC enrolled its first customer on September 1.
Major System Upgrade
In August, ERCOT launched a major transaction system upgrade, culminating a massive two-year project and representing the largest upgrade of the electronic transaction system since the retail market launch. Switching transactions averaged 38,000 per month and 9,000 per day during 2004.
Nodal Market Design Project Begins
In September, as part of Project 26376, the PUCT ordered ERCOT to develop a nodal wholesale market design, with the goal of improving market and operating efficiencies through more granular pricing and scheduling of energy services.
Retail Electric Market Opens, Enabling Customer Choice for 6.5 Million
On January 1, ERCOT launched the competitive retail electric market—on time and on budget—allowing individuals and corporations in most cities to choose power suppliers. SB 7 applied specifically to investor-owned utilities, enabling customer choice for 6.5 million, but allowed municipal utilities and electric cooperatives (approximately 24 percent of the ERCOT load) to decide if they wanted to opt to participate in competition.
Ten Control Centers Merge into One Control Center
On July 31, the existing 10 control areas in the ERCOT region were consolidated into a single control area.Wholesale power sales between electric utilities began to operate under the new electric industry restructuring guidelines, including centralization of power scheduling and procurement of ancillary services to ensure reliability. Commercial functions were centralized to facilitate efficient market operations, including meter data acquisition and aggregation, load profiling and statewide registration of retail premises to facilitate switching by customers between competitive electricity providers.
Market Protocols Developed through Stakeholder Collaboration
From 1999 to 2000, ERCOT sponsored a stakeholder process to address how ERCOT's organization would administer its responsibilities to support the competitive retail and wholesale electricity markets while maintaining the reliability of electric services. In thousands of hours of meetings and mark-up sessions, the stakeholders or market participants worked together to develop new ERCOT protocols, which are the rules and standards for implementing market functions regarding: energy scheduling and dispatch, ancillary services, congestion management, outage coordination, settlement and billing, metering, data acquisition and aggregation, market information systems, transmission and distribution losses, renewable energy credit trading, registration and qualification, market data collection, load profiling and alternative dispute resolution.
Legislature Votes to Deregulate Retail Electric Market
On May 21, the Texas Legislature passed Senate Bill 7 (SB 7) which required the creation of a competitive retail electricity market to give customers the ability to choose their retail electric providers, starting January 1, 2002.
ERCOT Becomes First ISO in the US
On August 21, the PUC endorsed an electric utility joint task force recommendation that ERCOT become an Independent System Operator (ISO) to ensure an impartial, third-party organization was overseeing equitable access to the power grid among the competitive market participants.
This change was officially implemented September 11, when the ERCOT Board of Directors restructured its organization and initiated operations as a not-for-profit ISO, making it the first electric utility industry ISO in the United States.
Commercial Wind Generation Begins
The Texas Wind Power Project, the first commercial wind farm in Texas, began operations in Culberson County.
Texas Legislature Votes to Deregulate Wholesale Generation
The Texas Legislature amended the Public Utility Regulatory Act to deregulate the wholesale generation market. The Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUC) began the process of expanding ERCOT's responsibilities to enable wholesale competition and facilitate efficient use of the power grid by all market participants.
ERCOT Opens First Office
ERCOT opened its first office in 1986 and hired four full-time employees.
ERCOT Assumes Central Operating Coordinator Role
TIS members transferred all operating functions to ERCOT, and ERCOT became the central operating coordinator for Texas.
TIS Forms ERCOT to Comply with NERC Requirements
TIS formed the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) in 1970 to comply with North American Reliability (NERC) requirements. ERCOT was staffed by two retired employees from utilities.
Utilities Band Together to Aid War Effort
At the beginning of World War II, several electric utilities in Texas banded together as the Texas Interconnected System (TIS) to support the war effort. They sent excess power supplies to industrial manufacturing companies on the Gulf Coast to provide reliable electricity supplies for energy-intensive aluminum smelting. Recognizing the reliability advantages of remaining interconnected, the TIS members continued to use and develop the interconnected grid. TIS members adopted official operating guides for their interconnected power system and established two monitoring centers within the control centers of two utilities, one in North Texas and one in South Texas.