High demand and tight reserves may result in energy alerts this summer
Alerts will allow ERCOT to take advantage of extra resources
AUSTIN, TX, March 5, 2019 – The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) expects record electric use this summer and an increased chance of energy alerts.
"Prior to each season, we consider a range of potential risks to determine whether there will be sufficient capacity to meet the expected peak load forecast," said ERCOT President and CEO Bill Magness. "In all of the scenarios studied, we identified a potential need to call an energy alert at various times this summer."
When ERCOT declares an alert, it can then take advantage of additional resources that are only available during scarcity conditions. These resources include demand response products, resources that are normally set aside to provide operating reserves (including contracted load reduction from some industrial facilities), additional generation or imports from neighboring regions and voluntary calls for conservation by consumers.
ERCOT’s current planning reserve margin is a historically low 7.4% while electric demand in the ERCOT region continues to grow. Between 2016 and March 2019, ERCOT set 16 new monthly peak demand records and new all-time system-wide peak demand records in 2016 and 2018.
Total resource capacity for the upcoming summer is expected to be 78,154 MW. The preliminary summer SARA report includes a 74,853 MW summer peak load forecast based on normal summer peak weather conditions for 2003-2017.
Consumers may view conservation tips on ERCOT’s mobile app or by visiting the Public Utility Commission’s Power to Save Texas website: http://powertosavetexas.org/.
The final summer SARA report will be released in May and will reflect the expected summer weather conditions.
Background on the SARA
The SARA report is based on an assessment of generation availability and expected peak demand conditions at the time it was prepared. The assessment takes into account expected generation outages that typically occur during each season for maintenance, as well as a range of generation outage scenarios and weather conditions that could affect seasonal demand.