ERCOT Breaks Record for Electricity Demand
Nodal market test runs smoothly during new peak usage.
The Electric Reliability Council of Texas, Inc. (ERCOT), the grid operator for most of the state, set a new electricity demand record today of 63,594 megawatts (MW) between 4 and 5 p.m., exceeding the previous record of 63,400 MW, recorded on July 13, 2009.
The new unofficial* peak was set during a 24-hour test of ERCOT’s new control systems for the nodal market, which is scheduled to launch Dec. 1.
“ERCOT system operators and the region’s transmission and generation owners operated smoothly through the nodal test and the new record demand without any major issues,” said CEO Trip Doggett. “We are extremely pleased that the new nodal systems performed as expected. This bodes well for the go-live operation of all nodal systems Dec.1.”
According to ERCOT’s annual summer assessment, the region has adequate generation to cover an expected summer peak demand over 64,000 MW and still maintain a 21 percent cushion of reserves to cover unexpected major outages.
The highest demand in July was 60,425 MW (July 16), and the highest demand in June was 60,789 MW, (June 21). Electricity demand is expected to begin dropping for the rest of the week.
One megawatt is roughly enough electricity to power 500 average homes under normal conditions in Texas, or about 200 homes during hot weather when air conditioners are running for longer periods of time.
* This record number is the initial preliminary calculation; it is not final until completion of the market’s financial settlement process six months after the operating day.
“Powerful Advice,” Public Utility Commission of Texas: http://www.puc.state.tx.us/agency/conserve/Constips.aspx
Consumer Hotline, Public Utility Commission