ERCOT Says Conservation Calls Likely This Summer

Resources expected to meet demand, unless summer is extreme

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    NEWSLETTERS

    ERCOT
    Inside the ERCOT control room.

    The Electric Reliability Council of Texas expects to meet the energy demand but says calls for conservation will be likely during days of extreme heat.

    Calls for conservation are typically made on extremely hot days during the business week and between 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. when residential use of air conditioners is at its peak. ERCOT asks the public to reduce electric use at those times to help maintain reliability of the power grid.

    "We are expecting above-normal temperatures throughout summer in most areas of the ERCOT region," said Kent Saathoff, an ERCOT executive advisor. "To help ensure there is enough generation to serve consumer needs, we likely will ask people to conserve power during the hottest hours of the hottest days."

    "ERCOT expects power demands this summer to peak at 68,383 megawatts (MW), slightly above the 68,305 MW all-time record set Aug. 3, 2011. The amount of generation available to serve peak electric needs is forecast at 74,438 MW, including 925 MW of new coal-fired generation from the Sandy Creek Energy Station in McLennan County and about 700 MW of new wind power resources," ERCOT said in a news release.

    Of course, if the summer is more extreme, as it was in 2011, there could be a higher than normal number of calls for conservation as well as generation outages.

    "If generation outages exceed expected conditions during peak demand periods, or if we see a return of record-breaking conditions like those in 2011, ERCOT also may need to implement Energy Emergency Alert actions, with the possibility of rotating outages if needed to protect the grid," Saathoff added.

    One MW is enough electricity to power about 200 homes when electric use is highest.

    ERCOT also released a preliminary outlook for fall 2013, which anticipates sufficient resources to serve expected demand.