Market Information System Grid and Market Conditions

News Release

August 03, 2011

ERCOT breaks peak demand record third time (Update)

Record power use expected again Thursday; Conservation needed 3-7 p.m.

Austin, Aug.3, 2011 -- For the third consecutive day, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, Inc. (ERCOT), system operator for the state’s bulk transmission grid, set a new electricity demand record -- 68,305* megawatts (MW) today between 4 and 5 p.m.

"We are expecting another record-high electricity demand tomorrow, so we are continuing our call for conservation between 3-7 p.m.," said Kent Saathoff, vice president of system planning and operations. "We do want to thank consumers and businesses who reduced their electricity consumption today following initiation of a level 1 emergency alert," Saathoff said.  

The level 1 emergency was declared at 2:50 pm today; operators cancelled the emergency procedures at 6:10 p.m. 

The new peak demand exceeds yesterday’s new record demand by 365 MW and last year’s record of 65,776 MW (Aug. 23, 2010) by 2,603 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 2,000 MW during the peak hour.

The peak demand for Thursday is expected to be more than 68,200 MW. 

ERCOT Peak Demand History, 2000 -- 2011



2011 Wed 8/3/2011 68,305* 3.84%*
2010 Mon 8/23/2010 65,776 6.02%
2009 Mon 7/13/2009 63,400 3.73%
2008 Mon 8/4/2008 62,171 0.07%
2007 Mon 8/13/2007 62,130 -0.34%
2006 Thu 8/17/2006 62,339 3.53%
2005 Tue 8/23/2005 60,214 2.92%
2004 Tue 8/3/2004 58,506 -2.55%
2003 Thu 8/7/2003 60,037 7.04%
2002 Mon 8/26/2002 56,086 2.53%
2001 Wed 8/15/2001 54,729 -4.99%
2000 Thurs 8/31/2000 57,606 5.03%

*UPDATE Oct. 17, 2012: ERCOT's system peak set on Aug. 3, 2011, remained an all-time record through summer 2012. The data has been updated to record more accurately the ?load served within the ERCOT region through DC ties. The revised formula changed the peak demand of Aug. 3, 2011, from 68,379 MW to 68,305 MW, which was still an all-time ERCOT record.

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.