News Release

    August 23, 2010

    ERCOT Breaks Electricity Demand Record For Fourth Time

    Update: Adjusts 8/23/10 preliminary record of 65,715 MW to 65,776 MW, following initial settlement.

    Load exceeds last Monday’s record by 971 megawatts

    For the fourth time this month, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, Inc. (ERCOT), the grid operator for most of the state, set a new electricity demand record with 65,776* megawatts (MW) today between 4 and 5 p.m.  

    The new peak demand exceeds last week’s record of 64,805 MW (Aug. 16) by 971 MW, and last year’s record by 2,376 MW.  Prior to this year, the all-time peak demand record was 63,400 MW, recorded on July 13, 2009. 

    "The ERCOT region is continuing to experience high temperatures throughout the state which is causing high electricity usage,” said Kent Saathoff, vice president of system planning and operations.  “We’re very pleased that ERCOT system operators and the region’s transmission and generation owners were able to manage today’s record demand without any major issues.” 

    Temperatures are forecast to moderate a few degrees on Tuesday, so the peak demand is expected to be lower than today.   

    Wind output averaged approximately 650 MW during the peak hour. ERCOT currently has 9,317 MW of installed wind capacity, the highest of any state in the country. 

    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. 

    * Note:  Following initial settlement, the record was adjusted to 65,776 MW from the initial preliminary calculation of 65,715 MW.  The number is not final until completion of the market’s financial settlement process six months after the operating day.

    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.