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USA Market: ERCOT expects adequate resources this summer

Expected hot and dry conditions and continued economic and population growth throughout the region will lead to record energy demand this summer, but there will be sufficient generation to meet this peak if system conditions remain as expected, according to the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT).

In its final Seasonal Assessment of Resource Adequacy (SARA) for Summer 2021 (June through September), published on 6 May, ERCOT said it is expecting a record-breaking peak demand of 77,144MW this summer due to hot and dry conditions and continued economic and population growth throughout the region. But it maintained “there will be sufficient generation to meet the summer peak demand” if system conditions remain as expected with some 86,862MW of resource capacity available giving a reserve capacity of 9,718MW.

However, under its “Extreme Reserve Capacity Risk Scenarios” the picture looks less positive. Three scenarios were modelled based on historical data of the hot and dry summer experienced in 2011 and the impact this had on the grid. Under the most extreme scenario (extreme peak load, widespread outages, low wind and solar output), ERCOT has forecast that the grid could fall short by 14,584MW.

High Peak Load/High Generation Outages/Low Wind Output/(Expected Solar Output High Peak Load/High Generation Outages/Low Wind Output/Low Solar Output Extreme Peak Load/Extreme Generation Outages/Low Wind Output/Low Solar Output
Summer -3,947MW -8,072MW -14,584MW

 

ERCOT also announced plans to visit selected power plants across the state to review summer weatherization plans. The process will be similar to the winter weatherization checks already routinely performed.

At the same time ERCOT set out its preliminary assessment for Fall 2021. From October – November 2021, under normal system conditions ERCOT expects to have sufficient installed generating capacity to serve peak demands.

The preliminary Fall SARA anticipates a seasonal peak demand of 62,662MW. Based on in-service dates provided by developers, new resource capacity totalling 6,713MW is expected to come online, giving a total resource capacity of 91,301MW and a reserve capacity of 28,639MW.

High Peak Load/High Generation Outages/Low Wind Output High Peak Load/High Generation Outages/Low Wind Output Extreme Peak Load/Extreme Generation Outages/Low Wind Output
Fall 128MW -10,037MW -13,359MW

 

Wayne Muncaster, VP for North America at GridBeyond, commented:

“The picture is looking rosy if we have a “normal” summer, but the season is shaping up to be hot and dry, which doesn’t bode well. Recent changes to Emergency Response Services (ERS) budget mean that funding for the scheme has been decreased by ~14% for Summer and ~45% for the Fall, which limits the actions that ERCOT is able to take if one of its more “extreme” scenarios starts to play out.

“To ensure your businesses is prepared for the coming season (and for the future) don’t commit yourself to the ERS. The combination of our ERCOT price forecasting and automated dispatch allows our clients to see the problem hours in advance and/or react in real-time”.

 

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