BLOG: ERCOT Reports Sufficient Generation

Texas should have more than enough electricity to reliably serve its needs during the upcoming fall and winter, according to the organization that manages the state’s primary power grid.

Neither will system reliability be undermined by the lingering effects of Hurricane Harvey, the organization reported.

That’s the reassuring news from twin reports issued this week by ERCOT, also known as the Electric Reliability Council of Texas. The reports – one for the fall and the other for the winter — examined grid reliability and seasonal fluctuations in electricity supply and demand.

“We studied multiple scenarios that could impact the availability of generation resources on the ERCOT system and do not currently anticipate any system-wide issues,” said Peter Warnken, the organization’s resource adequacy manager.

In its fall report, which covered October through November, ERCOT forecast nearly 86,000 megawatts of available generation to serve peak seasonal demand of 56,097 megawatts. The report shows 3,000 MW of new generation at the start of the season, including two new gas-fired plants. The fall report also shows new wind and solar resources coming on line.

The winter report, which covered December through February, forecast peak demand of more than 61,000 MW — a new all-time seasonal high. But the state nonetheless should have enough generation to meet that demand. “Even in the most extreme scenarios considered, there were ample operating reserves,” said Warnken.

The winter report was in draft form, with the final version expected in November.

A megawatt of power is roughly that amount needed to serve 200 homes on a hot summer day. There are 1,000 megawatts in a gigawatt.

— R.A. Dyer