Market Information System Grid and Market Conditions

News Release

June 27, 2011

ERCOT Expects High Demand, Additional Capacity Tuesday

Consumers, businesses thanked for reducing electricity load today

Electricity demand peaked at 62,762 megawatts (MW) today between 4-5 pm in the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) region – lower than the earlier forecast of more than 65,000 MW. 

 “We appreciate the efforts from businesses and consumers who reduced their electricity consumption in response to our appeal for conservation,” said Kent Saathoff, vice president of grid operations and system planning.   

ERCOT entered an Energy Emergency Alert Level 1 at 3:30 pm when reserves dropped below 2,300 MW due to the unexpected loss of about 2000 MW generation and high temperatures.  The alert was cancelled at 4:55 pm but a “watch” remains in effect until reserves reach a comfortable threshold.

The electricity demand forecast for Tuesday is 64,400 MW, but the units that failed today are expected to be available tomorrow, in addition to other capacity that was not available today.

ERCOT’s all-time electricity demand is 65,776 MW, which occurred on Aug. 23, 2010.

Today’s preliminary peak of 62,752 MW is a record for the month of June, surpassing the previous record of 62,278 MW, set on Jun 25, 2009.

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 Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) manages the flow of electric power to more than 26 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 710+ 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.