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USA Market: Tight conditions see ERCOT issue energy conservation alert

Demand side response

Higher-than-expected outages combined with a stalled weather front, created tight conditions for the grid in Texas on 13 April according to the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT).

Although ERCOT said it did not expect customer power outages like those seen in February, it asked consumers to conserve power. By late Tuesday, the grid was again operating in normal conditions, and the energy conservation appeal ended.

During the period, demand was near 49,000MW, when the available supply to the grid was about 50,000MW. The amount of generation assets offline was more than 50% higher than what the operator expected due to scheduled spring maintenance and repairs necessary following the storms earlier this year.

“The key drivers behind the conservation alert are that intermittent resources such as solar and wind generation are significantly underperforming, while over 32GW of generation remains on seasonal outage (close to 7GW above historical average). This sent evening peak prices to triple and quadruple-digits for several hours on 13 April. We expect this week to cool down but the heat is anticipated to return later this month, which could bring further problems over the coming weeks and indeed months”,  said Leah Layton, Market Development Manager at GridBeyond.

For many commercial and industrial (C&I) businesses, which rely on a constant energy supply from the grid, alerts on potential risks to supplies will be a worry. But there are actions that businesses can take to protect their operations and bottom lines.

 

Wayne Muncaster, GridBeyond VP for North America, commented:

“We’ve already seen prices hit $2,000 during the evening hours on two separate days this week, and we’re still in April. If you’re on an Index or Block and Index contract in Texas, don’t commit yourself to Emergency Response Services this Summer until you’ve spoken to us. We have a feeling it’s going to be a bumpy ride. 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”.

 

Notes: 

  • Emergency Response Services (ERS) – The ERS is programme designed to boost grid reliability during times of grid emergencies. It is aimed specifically at large consumers that have the ability to temporarily reduce their power consumption in response to grid emergencies.
  • The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) manages the electricity grid for more than 26mn customers in Texas – around 90% of the state’s load.

 

For more information on how GridBeyond’s technology can help your business improve its bottom line through enhanced energy services, contact our friendly team.

 

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