ERCOT Expects Record-Breaking Peak Demand This Summer

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AUSTIN, TX – The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) is preparing for record-breaking peak usage this summer.

ERCOT today released its final Seasonal Assessment of Resource Adequacy (SARA) report for the upcoming summer season (June – September). The grid operator also released its May Capacity, Demand and Reserves (CDR) report, which includes planning reserve margins for the next five years.

Sufficient generation expected to meet peak demand this summer

Based on normal operating conditions, ERCOT expects to have sufficient generation to meet customer demand this summer. The final summer SARA report includes a 72,756 MW summer peak load forecast based on normal weather conditions. This forecast is more than 1,600 MW higher than the all-time peak demand record set in August 2016.

Since the preliminary summer SARA was released in March, total generation resource capacity has increased by more than 500 MW due to units returning from mothball status and extended outage status, as well as a planned gas-fired resource becoming available earlier than initially expected.

“ERCOT and the market participants we work with are focused on system performance this summer,” said ERCOT President and CEO Bill Magness. “A growing economy and retirements of generating units will tighten reserves available on peak summer days.”

Electricity reserve margins remain steady through 2022

The planning reserve margin for summer 2018 has increased to 11 percent based on the resource updates incorporated in the final summer SARA report. The CDR shows reserves through 2022 in the range of 10.9% to 12.3%.

The CDR and SARA reports reflect the anticipated resource capacity available to meet the forecasted summer peak demand. This anticipated capacity may differ from what will actually be available based on system conditions and the operational status of the resources.

Since the December 2017 CDR report, the 2019 summer demand forecast was lowered to 74,202 MW due to a delay in a new industrial facility located on the Texas coast. The peak demand forecast also has been adjusted upward starting in 2021 to reflect the planned integration of Lubbock Power & Light customers.

The CDR also reflects updated reports from generation developers on the in-service dates for gas-fired, wind and solar resources expected to go into commercial operation through 2023.

The next CDR report will be released in early December.