ERCOT: Texas Electric Grid is Prepared for a Hot Summer

Thursday, April 28th, 2016

It’s a nightmare we all dread: 110 degrees in the middle of July, the power goes out and your air conditioner comes to an abrupt halt … and you’re stuck for hours at home in the sweltering heat!

But there’s no reason to lose sleep, according to ERCOT, the Electricity Reliability Council of Texas.

The agency, which manages the flow of electric power to 24 million Texans, including those of us in the Granbury/North Texas area, says the grid will be ready to meet peak demand during spring and summer of 2016.

ERCOT’s assessment involves an analysis of forecast weather conditions, power plant production capabilities and solar and wind power sources. The state will have more than 79,000 megawatts of resources available to serve an expected peak demand of 58,000 MW. One MW can power 200 average homes at peak demand, and 500 homes during a mild spring day.

“Taking into account multiple scenarios under a variety of conditions, ERCOT expects to have enough generation available to serve peak demand this spring,” said Pete Warnken, ERCOT’s manager of Resource Adequacy.

Last summer set new records for daily peak demand in July and August. On August 10, the all-time record was set at 69,877 MW, the first time in ERCOT history that demand exceeded 69,000 MW.

ERCOT cited good preparation and an experienced team of control-room operators for its ability to deliver reliable grid performance during the record-breaking summer of 2015.

“Having the appropriate market signals in place after years of stakeholder and staff deliberations, having systems and tool sin place that provide timely and accurate information to operators, and having the right people in key decision-making roles throughout that record-setting week all converged in successful operations during those critical intervals,” EPCOT officials wrote in its 2015 State of the Grid Report.

A Record-Breaking Year

The Top 5 all-time EPCOT electric grid peak demand records all occurred in 2015:

  1. 10: 69,877 MW
  2. 11: 69,775 MW
  3. 6: 68,979 MW
  4. 7: 68,731 MW
  5. 5: 68,683 MW
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