ERCOT today released its Seasonal Assessment of Resource Adequacy (SARA) for the upcoming summer, a preliminary assessment for fall, and an updated Capacity, Demand and Reserves (CDR) Report for the coming years.
The operator of the electric grid and competitive electric market for most of Texas expects to have sufficient generation to serve forecasted peak demand under most scenarios during the summer months, June through September. The SARA report includes a summer peak demand forecast nearing 73,000 megawatts (MW), based on average peak weather conditions during the past 14 years. One MW is enough electricity to serve about 200 homes on a hot summer day.
"We set a new summer peak demand record last year, and we may set another new record this year," said Warren Lasher, ERCOT senior director of System Planning. ERCOT’s peak demand surpassed 70,000 MW nine times in 2016 and peaked at 71,110 MW on Aug. 11.
"At this time, we do not anticipate any generation resource adequacy issues during the coming months, although we could see a need for conservation in the case of extended extreme temperatures or very low wind generation output during peak conditions," Lasher said.
Total generation resource capacity for the upcoming summer is estimated at close to 82,000 MW. This includes nearly 2,500 MW of planned natural gas-fired generation. The total also includes about 800 MW of new wind and grid-scale solar additions that, combined, are expected to contribute about 350 MW over summer peak hours, based on historical performance.
ERCOT also anticipates there will be enough installed generation capacity to serve system needs this fall season, October through November. The preliminary fall SARA report forecasts peak demand of about 56,000 MW, with expected generation resources totaling nearly 87,000 MW. The final fall SARA report will be released in September.