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ERCOT sees enough electricity capacity for fall, winter

By: Electric Light & Power |

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) anticipates there will be sufficient installed generating capacity available to serve system-wide forecasted peak demand this fall and winter.

ERCOT today released its final Seasonal Assessment of Resource Adequacy (SARA) report for the upcoming fall season (October – November 2019) and its preliminary assessment for the winter season (December 2019 – February 2020).

“Prior to each season, we study a range of scenarios to determine whether extreme temperatures and season-specific resource availability risks will have an impact on our ability to meet the forecasted peak demand and maintain sufficient operating reserves,” said Manager of Resource Adequacy Pete Warnken. “Our studies show we have sufficient generation for the fall season.”

The fall SARA includes a 61,034 MW fall peak demand forecast, which is unchanged from the preliminary fall forecast released in May 2019. The forecast is based on normal weather conditions during fall peak demands, from 2003 through 2017.

Nearly 84,000 MW of resource capacity is expected to be available for peak demand, which includes 1,198 MW of planned resource capacity based on fall capacity ratings. This planned capacity includes 296 MW of gas-fired generation, 732 MW of wind and 170 MW of solar resources.

This final fall SARA report includes a unit outage forecast of 13,833 MW. ERCOT’s outage forecast is based on the historical average of outages for weekday peak hours for each of the last three fall seasons (2016 – 2018).

ERCOT also expects to have sufficient generation available to meet system-wide demand this winter. Based on expected winter peak weather conditions, the preliminary SARA report for winter 2019-20 anticipates a seasonal peak demand of 62,257 MW.

The all-time winter peak demand record was set on Jan. 17, 2018, when demand reached 65,915 MW between 7 and 8 a.m. The high demand was the result of extreme cold temperatures that morning.

An additional 1,179 MW of planned winter-rated resource capacity is expected to be added between now and the start of the winter season.

The final winter SARA report for 2019-20 will be released in early November.