Seasonal forecasts indicate sufficient generation available for spring, summer
MARCH 2, 2015, AUSTIN, TX -- Seasonal forecasts released today by the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), grid operator for most of Texas, indicate the region will have sufficient electric generation available to serve expected peak demand requirements in the upcoming spring and summer.
"In a broad range of scenarios, ERCOT expects to have enough generation available to serve peak demand this spring," said Ken McIntyre, vice president of Grid Planning and Operations.
The Seasonal Assessment of Resource Adequacy (SARA) for the upcoming spring identifies more than 76,600 megawatts (MW) of generation resources available to serve expected peak demand of about 62,000 MW. One MW is enough electricity to power about 200 homes during the highest demand conditions and about 500 homes during a mild spring day.
This forecast is based on average weather conditions seen during the previous 12-year period and typical seasonal generation outages experienced since December 2010, when ERCOT launched its nodal market design. It assumes the highest spring demand will occur in late May, following completion of most of the routine power plant maintenance that occurs during the spring to prepare for summer demand.
A preliminary summer SARA, also released today, estimates summer peak demand at about 69,000 MW, based on 12-year average weather. Peak demand in 2014, a mild summer for Texas, reached 66,454 MW on Aug. 25. Currently, ERCOT estimates nearly 77,000 MW of available generation resources for this summer’s peak.
"We continue to monitor a number of factors that could affect power plant availability and demand over the summer peak this year," McIntyre said.
Available operating reserves under the current scenarios could range from more than 5,000 MW, based on the current forecast and typical outage rates, to less than 500 MW under a scenario in which demand exceeds the forecast by about 2,300 MW at the same time outages exceed the historical average by more than 2,400 MW. The latter weather scenario reflects the extreme conditions ERCOT experienced in summer 2011.
ERCOT will continue to monitor the potential impacts of prolonged drought conditions, regulatory changes that could affect generation availability, and any updates to the seasonal weather forecast. Any changes will be reflected in the final summer SARA, which is scheduled for release in May.
These and other SARA and CDR reports are available at www.ercot.com/gridinfo/resource/.
Links embedded in this news release connect to Microsoft Excel versions of these reports. To access .pdf versions, please use the following links:
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.