News Release

    January 07, 2014

    Demand for power in ERCOT region hits new winter peak

    Conservation Alert discontinued

    UPDATE: The new record referenced in this news release was based on preliminary operational data. After initial settlement, the demand figure for Jan. 7, 2014, dropped to 57,256 MW, slightly below the Feb. 10, 2011, record of 57,265 MW.

    AUSTIN, TX, Jan. 7, 2014 – Continuing sub-freezing temperatures in the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) region pushed the demand for electricity this morning to a new winter record, with electric use peaking at 57,277 megawatts (MW) in the hour ending at 8 a.m.

    There was sufficient generation available Monday evening and Tuesday morning to serve expected needs and maintain the desired level of operating reserves, even with demand exceeding Monday’s 55,487 MW morning peak and 56,031 MW evening peak. Peak demand in winter weather typically occurs between 6 and 9 a.m. and 4-8 p.m.

    ERCOT has discontinued a Conservation Alert that began Monday, when high demand and sudden electric generation outages in the early morning hours caused operating reserves — the electricity available on the system in excess of what is currently being used — to drop below the 2,300 MW trigger for an Energy Emergency Alert.

     “We appreciate the consumer response to our conservation request yesterday, as well as the steps generation and transmission companies in the ERCOT region have taken to prepare for today’s power needs,” said Dan Woodfin, director of System Operations.

    ERCOT’s previous winter demand record of 57,265 MW was set on Feb. 10, 2011. The all-time record overall was set on Aug. 3, 2011, when demand peaked at 68,305 MW. One MW is enough power to serve about 200 homes during summer peak periods, which typically are about 10,000 MW higher than winter peaks, and about 500 homes during mild weather.


    The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) manages the flow of electric power to 24 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 570+ generation units. It also performs financial settlement for the competitive wholesale bulk-power market and administers retail switching for 7 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. Its members include consumers, cooperatives, generators, power marketers, retail electric providers, investor-owned electric utilities, transmission and distribution providers and municipally owned electric utilities.