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ERCOT reserve margin projected to rise 2 percent for summer 2020

By: Douglas Clark |

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) is projecting its summer 2020 planning reserve margin will increase over what was reported entering summer 2019’s peak demand season.

The December Capacity, Demand and Reserves (CDR) Report, which includes planning reserve margins for the next five years, indicates the planning reserve margin will be 10.6 percent. The figure represents a 2 percent raise over the 8.6 percent reserve margin ERCOT reported entering summer 2019’s peak demand season.

“ERCOT maintained system reliability through record-setting electric demand and high temperatures this summer,” Bill Magness, ERCOT president and CEO, said. “We anticipate there will continue to be sufficient generation to meet Texas’ growing power needs.”

The forecasted peak demand for next year is 76,696 MW. ERCOT’s current system-wide peak demand record is 74,820 MW, set on Aug. 12, 2019, between 4 p.m. and 5 p.m. Based on preliminary data from generation owners, new capacity additions from planned projects for summer 2020 total 7,633 MW.

Two gas-fired plants totaling 1,227 MW have been canceled, and eight solar projects with a 1,056 MW capacity contribution have been delayed since the May 2019 CDR report. The CDR includes a Generation Resource Scenarios tab identifying generation units informally announcing plans to retire.