Market Information System Grid and Market Conditions

News Release

August 02, 2011

ERCOT breaks peak demand record again; Level 1 emergency cancelled

Level 1 Energy Emergency cancelled at 6 p.m.

Record power use expected again Wednesday; Conservation needed all week 

Austin, Aug.2, 2011 -- The Electric Reliability Council of Texas, Inc. (ERCOT), system operator for the state’s bulk transmission grid, again set a new electricity demand record with 67,929 megawatts (MW) today between 4 and 5 p.m. and is expecting to break the record again Wednesday.

“Due to the high temperatures and high electricity usage expected this week, we are continuing to request that consumers and businesses reduce their electricity use during peak electricity hours from 3 to 7 p.m. for the remainder of the week,” said Kent Saathoff, vice president of system planning and operations.  

“We appreciate the efforts of consumers and businesses to reduce their electricity consumption today following initiation of a level 1 emergency alert,” Saathoff said.   The level 1 emergency was declared at 2:40 pm today and cancelled at 6 p.m.  

The new peak demand exceeds yesterday’s new record demand by 1,062 MW and last year’s record of 65,776 MW (Aug. 23, 2010) by 2,153 MW.  One megawatt of power is enough electricity to power about 200 homes in Texas during hot weather when air conditioners are running for long periods of time. 

Wind generation contributed approximately 1,500 MW during the peak hour. 

The peak demand for Wednesday is expected to be more than 68,100 MW.  

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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.