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Good news, Texans! ERCOT says there’s enough electricity for the spring

By: Jeffrey Weiss |

ERCOT issued its latest Seasonal Assessment of Resource Adequacy. Beyond “we have enough,” here are the details:

This SARA report reflects our latest spring 2016 peak forecast, which is based on expected weather conditions similar to those that occurred in May 2006, a  otter-than-normal month. The report also includes a unit outage forecast of 9,482 MW based on historical outage data since the start of the Texas Nodal Market in 2010, and assumes the high likelihood that the spring peak will  occur in May, following completion of most scheduled seasonal maintenance. While a significant amount of unit maintenance is conducted during the spring season, much of this maintenance is completed prior to the onset of hotter temperatures (and resulting higher electricity demand) in late May.

This SARA report also incorporates the calculation of a spring peak solar unit capacity consistent with the methodology to be applied once operational solar capacity registered with ERCOT reaches the 200 MW threshold as specified in ERCOT Nodal Protocol Section (The installed solar capacity surpassed 200 MW in late December 2015). The spring peak solar capacity contribution percentage is 58% based on three years of historical spring solar production data. In contrast, the previous capacity contribution percentage was 100%. The impact of this change is to reduce total available installed and planned solar capacity from 295 MW to 171 MW.

Oh and there’s this nugget: Texas coal-fired power plants are expected to be in compliance with mercury and air toxics standards pdq:

At this time, ERCOT does not anticipate changes to available generation capacity for the spring season due to compliance with environmental regulations. The final compliance date for the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS) for coal units with compliance extensions is April 15, 2016. Confidential survey information gathered in December 2015 indicated that coal generators are expected to be compliant with MATS by the compliance date. ERCOT continues to monitor implementation and consults with generation resource owners on their compliance plans for MATS and other environmental regulations.