Record Electric Usage Expected Across Texas This Summer, Report Says

Historically low reserve resources along with above-normal growth in demand and rising temperatures could mean Texas is in for potentially record-breaking electric use this summer. The Electric Reliability Council of Texas, or ERCOT, is forecasting a peak demand of 74,853 megawatts this summer. The projection is 1,300 megawatts higher than the all-time peak demand record set July 19, 2018, when temperatures reached 108 degrees at DFW International Airport. The seasonal assessment report released Wednesday by the nonprofit company, which operates the state's grid, also found an increased chance that ERCOT may need to issue energy emergency alerts during the summer to maintain system reliability. The emergency alerts can trigger actions ranging from issuing advisories to implementing rotating outages, better known as rolling blackouts. "It's more likely we'll have to use additional resources ... on several occasions this summer," said Dan Woodfin, senior director of systems operations. "We don't have any indication right now that those [resources] would not be sufficient, and we would have to implement rotating outages." Texas will head into the summer with a historically low planning reserve, or backup resources, according to Pete Warnken, ERCOT manager of resource adequacy. Despite the lowest reserve since the early 2000s, Warnken said ERCOT is "confident we'll be able to maintain the reliability of the system as a whole."  Continue reading...

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