Electricity Markets

Texas grid operator snaps peak demand record twice in one day

Against the backdrop of sweltering temperatures and forecasts for triple digit temperatures over the next several days in much of Texas, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas on July 19 reported that it set a new all-time systemwide peak demand record two hours in a row during the afternoon of July 19, topping out at 73,259 MW between 4 and 5 p.m.

This is the first time that ERCOT’s peak demand has exceeded 73,000 MW in the ERCOT region, the grid operator noted in a tweet.

ERCOT on July 18 reported that it set a new all-time systemwide peak demand record, reaching 72,192 MW between 4 and 5 p.m., but that record was snapped just a day later.

Much of Texas has been blanketed with extremely hot weather, a trend that is expected to carry over into the weekend and into the week of July 23.

According to Accuweather, Houston is forecast to have triple-digit temperatures on July 20, through the weekend and into July 23. Accuweather posted similar forecasts for other large cities in the state include Dallas, San Antonio and Austin.

In a July 20 statement, ERCOT said that it has issued an advisory to power companies in advance of the extreme heat anticipated over the weekend and into next week.

“Our grid operators and electricity providers are working around the clock to ensure consumers stay cool and safe. ERCOT has not issued any appeals for conservation, but we will notify the media and stakeholders if system conditions change,” the grid operator said.

ERCOT sets new weekend peak demand record

ERCOT on July 21 said that it set a new weekend peak demand record three hours in a row during the afternoon, reaching 71,077 MW between 5 and 6 p.m. That figure is 2,700 MW more than the previous weekend record set in July 2017.

A day later, on July 22, ERCOT set another new weekend peak demand record, topping out at 71,444 MW between 5 and 6 p.m,  surpassing the July 21 figure by more than 350 MW.

ERCOT affirmed projection for record-breaking summer demand

In late April, the grid operator said that it expected record-breaking peak demand this summer.

ERCOT on April 30 released its final Seasonal Assessment of Resource Adequacy (SARA) report for the upcoming summer season (June – September).

Based on normal operating conditions, ERCOT said it expected to have sufficient generation to meet customer demand in the summer. The final summer SARA report included a 72,756 MW summer peak load forecast based on normal weather conditions. That forecast was more than 1,600 MW higher than the all-time peak demand record set in August 2016.

ERCOT noted in April that since the preliminary summer SARA was released in March, total generation resource capacity had increased by more than 500 MW due to units returning from mothball status and extended outage status, as well as a planned gas-fired resource becoming available earlier than initially expected.