News Release

December 05, 2019

ERCOT’s reserve margin climbs 2% for summer 2020

Electricity demand continues to grow

AUSTIN, TX, Dec. 5, 2019 – The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) today released its December Capacity, Demand and Reserves (CDR) Report, which includes planning reserve margins for the next five years.

The planning reserve margin for summer 2020 is forecasted to be 10.6%, based on resource updates provided to ERCOT from generation developers and an updated peak demand forecast. This is 2% higher than the 8.6% reserve margin ERCOT reported as it entered the summer 2019 peak demand season.

"ERCOT maintained system reliability through record-setting electric demand and high temperatures this summer," said ERCOT President and CEO Bill Magness. "We anticipate there will continue to be sufficient generation to meet Texas’ growing power needs."

The ERCOT region continues to experience above-normal growth in peak electricity demand due to strong load growth in Far West Texas and along the coast where new industrial facilities are being constructed.

For 2020, the forecasted peak demand is 76,696 MW. ERCOT’s current system-wide peak demand record is 74,820 MW, set on Aug. 12, 2019 between 4 and 5 p.m.

Based on preliminary data from generation owners, new capacity additions from planned projects for summer 2020 total 7,633 MW. Based on ERCOT’s current interconnection queue, the majority of new generation projects are renewable and small, flexible gas-fired resources.

Since the May 2019 CDR report, two gas-fired plants totaling 1,227 MW have been canceled, and eight solar projects with a 1,056 MW capacity contribution have been delayed. The CDR includes a Generation Resource Scenarios tab that identifies generation units that have informally announced plans to retire. Until ERCOT receives an official Notice of Suspension of Operation from the owners, these units will continue to be reflected in the CDR.

Resources totaling 1,058 MW of installed capacity have been approved by ERCOT for commercial operations since the May CDR, and a total of 4,654 MW of installed capacity became eligible for inclusion in the CDR.

ERCOT’s next Seasonal Assessment of Resource Adequacy will be released in March 2020, and the mid-year CDR report will be released in May 2020.

Background on the CDR report

The CDR report includes a look forward at all currently operational and planned resource capacity as reported to ERCOT by resource developers and owners. It provides annual projections of ERCOT’s planning reserve margins for the summer and winter seasons. The planning reserve margin is the difference between the total generation available in the ERCOT system and the forecasted firm peak demand, with the difference expressed as a percentage of the forecasted firm peak demand.

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The Electric Reliability Council of 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 650+ generation units. It also performs financial settlement for the competitive wholesale bulk-power market and administers retail switching for nearly 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. Its members include consumers, cooperatives, generators, power marketers, retail electric providers, investor-owned electric utilities, transmission and distribution providers and municipally owned electric utilities.

Contact

media@ercot.com

512-275-7432