The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), which manages the flow of power to most of the state, said Thursday capacity should be adequate across the system through winter.
The conclusions are part of the final Seasonal Assessment of Resource Adequacy (SARA) report covering October through November and a preliminary SARA assessment for December through February.
“ERCOT studies multiple scenarios prior to each season to determine a range of potential risks resulting from extreme temperatures, generation outages and low wind output,” said ERCOT’s Pete Warnken, manager of resource adequacy. “Our assessments show a healthy amount of operating reserves heading into the fall season.”
The SARA reports are based on an assessment of generation availability and expected peak demand conditions at the time they are prepared, taking into account expected generation outages that typically occur during each season for routine maintenance, as well as a range of generation outage scenarios and weather conditions that could affect seasonal demand.
The fall assessment indicates a 58,619 MW peak demand forecast, unchanged from the preliminary outlook issued in May. The forecast is based on normal weather conditions during peak periods, from 2002-2016.
More than 81,000 MW of resource capacity is expected to be available for peak demand. Since the release of the preliminary fall SARA, two natural gas-fired power plants, one wind project and three solar projects have become operational, with fall capacity ratings totaling about 915 MW.
Planned resources expected to be in service for the fall season should contribute an additional 265 MW of resource capacity.
ERCOT also expects to have sufficient generation available to meet system-wide demand this winter. Based on expected winter peak weather conditions, the preliminary SARA report for winter 2018-2019 anticipates a seasonal peak demand of 61,780 MW.
The all-time winter peak demand record was set on Jan. 17, when demand reached 65,915 MW between 7 a.m. and 8 a.m. CT, the result of extreme cold temperatures.
The final winter SARA report for 2018-19 is scheduled for release in early November.