Texas should have enough power to keep the lights on this fall and winter according to reports issued today by the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, the state’s primary power grid.
The quasi-governmental organization on Thursday released both its final Seasonal Assessment of Resource Adequacy (SARA) report for the upcoming fall season, which covers October 2018 through November 2018; and its preliminary assessment for the winter season, which covers December 2018 through February 2019. Together, the two reports point to a power system with more than enough installed generation to serve expected demand from electricity consumers.
The organization’s Manager of Resource Adequacy, Pete Warnken, said in a prepared statement that ERCOT has examined potential risks from extreme temperatures and generation outages and “our assessments show a healthy amount of operating reserves heading into the fall season.”
The fall SARA is unchanged from the preliminary fall forecast released in May, according to ERCOT. Modeled on weather conditions observed during peak periods between 2002 through 2016, the fall SARA forecasts no more than 58,619 megawatts of peak-user demand during the next two months. However, it also shows more than 81,000 MW of resource capacity — or more than enough power to keep the lights on.
ERCOT notes that available generation resources this fall include power from two new natural gas-fired power plants, one wind project and three solar projects — for a total of 915 megawatts.
ERCOT’s preliminary report for the winter season also projects sufficient resources to meet demand. The preliminary report forecasts seasonal peak usage at 61,780 MW and 80,202 MW in total resources.
ERCOT will release the final winter SARA report for 2018-19 in early November.
A single megawatt is approximately enough power to serve 200 homes during a hot summer day. A gigawatt is comprised of 1,000 megawatts.