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Sufficient generation expected for winter and spring
News Release
Thursday, November 01, 2018

AUSTIN, Texas – The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) anticipates there will be sufficient installed generating capacity available to serve system-wide forecasted peak demand this winter and in spring 2019.

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

“Prior to each season, the grid operator considers a range of potential risks to determine whether there will be sufficient capacity to meet the expected peak load forecast,” said Manager of Resource Adequacy Pete Warnken. “Based on our assessment for the upcoming winter season, we do not anticipate any capacity shortages, even in extreme conditions.”

The winter SARA includes a 61,780 MW winter peak demand forecast, which is unchanged from the preliminary winter forecast released in September 2018. The forecast is based on normal weather conditions during peak periods, from 2002 through 2016. 

Nearly 80,000 MW of resource capacity is expected to be available for peak demand this winter. Since the release of the preliminary winter SARA, two wind farms have become operational, with winter capacity ratings totaling approximately 72 MW.

Planned resources expected to be in service for the winter season will contribute an additional 253 MW of resource capacity.

The winter SARA also includes a unit outage forecast of 7,524 MW during the winter months, which is based on historical winter outage data compiled since 2015.  

ERCOT also expects to have sufficient generation available to meet system-wide demand in spring 2019. Based on expected spring peak weather conditions, the preliminary SARA report for spring 2019 anticipates a seasonal peak demand of 61,566 MW.

Based on ERCOT’s preliminary assessment, an additional 1,139 MW of resource capacity is expected to be available for the spring season. The final spring SARA report for 2019 will be released in early March.

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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