Record electricity use expected this summer, ERCOT prepares for potential tight conditions

Austin, TX (March 5, 2020) – The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) expects record electric use this summer and grid conditions similar to summer 2019.

ERCOT today released its final Seasonal Assessment of Resource Adequacy for the upcoming spring season (March – May) and its preliminary assessment for the summer season (June – September).

“ERCOT has added new electric supply resources, and strong economic growth continues to push up demand in ERCOT,” said ERCOT President and CEO Bill Magness. “We expect grid operations to be very similar to last summer.”

As in 2019, the need to declare an energy emergency will depend on a combination of factors, including demand, wind output and the number of generators on outage on any given day. ERCOT and its market participants are taking steps to ensure system reliability can be maintained during tight conditions.

Declaring an energy emergency allows the grid operator to take advantage of additional resources that are only available under these types of conditions. Additionally, the ERCOT wholesale market is designed to send appropriate price signals to encourage generators to be available when needed, and for customers to lower their energy use.

Total resource capacity for the upcoming summer season is expected to be 82,417 MW. The preliminary summer SARA report includes a 76,696 MW summer peak load forecast based on normal summer peak weather conditions from 2004 – 2018.

The final summer SARA report will be released in early May and will reflect the expected summer weather conditions.

Based on the spring SARA report, ERCOT anticipates there will be sufficient generation to meet system-wide demand under a range of extreme system conditions. The spring SARA includes a 64,233 MW spring peak load forecast and is unchanged from the preliminary spring SARA.

Background on the SARA

The SARA report is based on an assessment of generation availability and expected peak demand conditions at the time it was prepared. The assessment takes into account expected generation outages that typically occur during each season for maintenance, as well as a range of generation outage scenarios and weather conditions that could affect seasonal demand.

Source: ERCOT