News Release

    August 10, 2010

    ERCOT Breaks Record for Electricity Demand Again

    The Electric Reliability Council of Texas, Inc. (ERCOT), the electric grid operator for most of the state, set a new electricity demand record again today with 63,830 megawatts (MW) between 4 and 5 p.m. today. 

    The new peak demand exceeds last week’s record of 63,594 MW (Aug. 4) by 236 MW, and last year’s record by 430 MW.  Prior to last week, the all-time peak demand record was 63,400 MW, recorded on July 13, 2009. 

    Wind output averaged approximately 1,200 MW during the peak hour.  ERCOT currently has 9,317 MW of installed wind capacity, the highest of any state in the country. 

    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. 

    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. 

    The new peak is an integrated hourly average of electricity load between 4 and 5 p.m. based on preliminary calculations.  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.