The Electric Reliability Council of Texas expects to have enough power to warm Texans this winter.
That's true as long as power generation outages fall within anticipated levels and if the weather conditions are relatively normal for that time of year.
According to ERCOT, the Seasonal Assessment of Resource Adequacy, or SARA, projects more than 74,200 megawatts (MW) of power to be available to meet an anticipated peak demand of about 58,000 MW during the winter months.
One megawatt is enough power to serve about 500 homes during mild weather conditions and about 200 homes during high-demand summer months.
"Winter in the ERCOT region typically does not drive electric use to the levels the grid experiences during summer, and we don't expect to have problems keeping up with anticipated demand," said Warren Lasher, ERCOT's director of system planning. "However, if we experience record-breaking weather conditions and more generation outages than typically occur this time of year, ERCOT may need to reduce customer demand at some point during the weather event to protect the grid."
ERCOT said they reached their all-time winter peak record on Feb. 10, 2011, when demand hit 57,315 MW.
After winter, ERCOT also expects to have sufficient power generation between March and May.
"Generators typically bring many plants off-line for maintenance early in the spring when weather is mild," said Lasher. "As long as most of those plants are back in operation before the weather warms up later in the spring, we should be in good shape."
In a news release Thursday, ERCOT said "both seasonal assessments incorporate updated information on projected generation availability, weather projections, economic forecasts and other data to define a likely range of electric supply and demand scenarios. ERCOT will assess any changes to the spring forecast prior to release of the final spring assessment on March 1."