News Release

December 16, 2008

ERCOT Forecast Update Shows Adequate Reserves Through 2014

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), grid operator for most of the state, reported more than 3,100 megawatts (MW) have been added to the five-year generation outlook since the May reserve margin report. 

According to the winter update released today, the ERCOT region’s reserve margins are well above the 12.5 percent target minimum through 2014.  The reserve margin for summer 2009 is 15.8 percent, and the 2010 reserve margin is 21.2 percent.   

New planned generation added to the forecast includes 195 MW to be ready by next summer and 1,147 MW by summer 2010.  A 1,792-MW natural gas unit, owned by Cobisa-Greenville Energy Co., and scheduled to come online in summer of 2013, boosted the reserve margins significantly in 2013 and 2014. 

Of the 3,134 MW of new planned generation added to the forecast, 2,494 MW is gas-fired, 595 MW is from wind, and 45 MW from biomass. 

Due to the changes in economic indicators since May, an updated load forecast was used in the report.  The 2009 summer peak demand forecast decreased to 65,222 MW, from 66,246 MW, and 2010 was changed to 66,283 MW from 67,641 MW.   

Other changes in the report included a recalculation of the estimated contribution of ERCOT’s demand response program for interruptible loads, based on a methodology approved by a stakeholder task force.  The interruptible load contribution increased to 1,115 MW, from 1,059 MW in the previous report. 

Potential resources that are not included in the total generation include more than 4,300 MW of generation capacity which is currently mothballed but could be brought back into service at the owners’ decision.   

Other potential resources include units that are in the final phase of a transmission interconnection study but lack either an air permit or signed interconnection agreement.  These planned units under review totaled 1,451 MW for 2009 in-service dates and 10,798 MW for 2010. 

“Reserve margins are assessments based on best estimates of a snapshot in time,” said Dan Woodfin, director of system planning for ERCOT.  “The assessments change as new generation is added and old generation is mothballed or decommissioned, and load forecasts change based on changing economic conditions and other factors,” Woodfin said.  “To ensure future reliability for the region, ERCOT must inform market participants of the generation outlook because in the deregulated market, it is the generation owner who bears the risk of investment and decides when and where to build.”   

RESERVE MARGINS, 2009-2014 

 

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

2014

Dec 2008 Assessment Update

 

15.8%

21.2%

18.7%

17.8%

17.9%

15.8%

May 2008 Assessment

16.5%

17.3%

15.0%

14.5%

12.3%

n/a

Reserve margins are generation reserves in excess of forecasted peak demand needed to ensure reliability for extreme temperatures and unexpected major outages; the minimum reserve margin target of 12.5 percent was approved by the ERCOT Board of Directors in 2002.  

NEW GENERATION

Completed air permits or interconnection agreements since the May 2008 report:

Site Name

MW

Expected           In-Service

Fuel

Owner

Papalote Creek Windfarm

180

Summer 2009

Wind

E. On Climate & Renewables

Mont Belvieu

15

Summer 2009

Gas-Combustion Turbine

Targa Resources

Nueces Bay 7 Repowering

327

Summer 2010

Gas-Combined Cycle

Topaz Power Group

Barney Davis 2 Repowering

360

Summer 2010

Gas-Combined Cycle

Topaz Power Group

Lufkin

45

Summer 2010

Biomass

Aspen Power Group

Loraine Windpark

325

Summer 2010

Wind

Third Planet Windpower LLC

Jackson Mountain

90

Summer 2010

Wind

Gamesa Energy

Cobisa-Greenville

1,792

Summer 2013

Gas-Combined Cycle

Cobisa-Greenville Energy Co, Inc

                       

Also online:

2008 Capacity, Demand, Reserves Report 

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) manages the flow of electric power to more than 25 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