News Release

    August 04, 2010

    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.  

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    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 600+ generation units. It also performs financial settlement for the competitive wholesale bulk-power market and administers retail switching for 7 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.