ERCOT Predicts Sufficient Power Supplies for Fall, Winter.


The supply of electricity in Texas this fall and winter should more than keep up with demand, according to recently released reports from ERCOT, the organization that manages the state’s primary power grid.

Also known as the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, ERCOT likewise predicts that peak electricity demand this winter will fall well below the record set in 2018.

ERCOT included the new findings in two reports, its final Seasonal Assessment of Resource Adequacy (SARA) report for the upcoming fall season and its preliminary assessment for the winter season. Both were released this week.

“We study a range of normal to extreme scenarios prior to each season to determine whether there are any operational risks associated with meeting the forecasted peak demand,” said Manager of Resource Adequacy Pete Warnken, in a prepared statement. “At this time, our assessments show there will be adequate generation for fall and winter.”

The Fall and Winter SARA

The final fall SARA, which covers October through November 2020, projects peak demand during that season at 60,966 megawatts. But the grid operator projects substantially more resources — 86,000 MW — to cover that expected demand. The resources available at the start of the fall season should includes 1,475 MW of wind and solar power, according to the ERCOT report.

The preliminary winter SARA, which covers December 2020 through February 2021, projects 57,699 MW of peak demand. That’s well below the winter peak record of 65,915 MW set on Jan. 17, 2018. The final winter SARA for 2020-21 will be released in early November.

In drafting SARA reports, ERCOT considers both generation availability and expected peak demand conditions. SARA reports also account for expected generation outages that typically occur for routine maintenance, as well as other generation outage scenarios and weather conditions that could affect seasonal demand.

A megawatt is roughly enough power to serve 200 homes during a high electricity usage day.

ERCOT manages the flow of electric power to more than 26 million Texas customers, representing about 90 percent of the state’s electric load.

— R.A. Dyer