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Sufficient generation expected for fall and winter
News Release
Thursday, September 06, 2018

AUSTIN – The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) anticipates there will be sufficient installed generating capacity available to serve system-wide forecasted peak demand this fall and winter.

ERCOT today released its final Seasonal Assessment of Resource Adequacy (SARA) report for the upcoming fall season (October – November 2018) and its preliminary assessment for the winter season (December 2018 – February 2019).

“ERCOT studies multiple scenarios prior to each season to determine a range of potential risks resulting from extreme temperatures, generation outages and low wind output,” said Manager of Resource Adequacy Pete Warnken. “Our assessments show a healthy amount of operating reserves heading into the fall season.”

The fall SARA includes a 58,619 MW fall peak demand forecast, which is unchanged from the preliminary fall forecast released in May 2018. The forecast is based on normal weather conditions during peak periods, from 2002 through 2016.

More than 81,000 MW of resource capacity is expected to be available for peak demand. Since the release of the preliminary fall SARA, two natural gas-fired power plants, one wind project and three solar projects have become operational, with fall capacity ratings totaling approximately 915 MW.

Planned resources expected to be in service for the fall season will contribute an additional 265 MW of resource capacity.

ERCOT also expects to have sufficient generation available to meet system-wide demand this winter. Based on expected winter peak weather conditions, the preliminary SARA report for winter 2018-19 anticipates a seasonal peak demand of 61,780 MW.

The all-time winter peak demand record was set on Jan. 17, 2018, when demand reached 65,915 MW between 7 and 8 a.m. The high demand was the result of extreme cold temperatures that morning. The final winter SARA report for 2018-19 will be released in early November.

Background on the SARA

The SARA report is based on an assessment of generation availability and expected peak demand conditions at the time it was prepared. The assessment takes into account expected generation outages that typically occur during each season for routine maintenance, as well as a range of generation outage scenarios and weather conditions that could affect seasonal demand.

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