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This Report Shows the Texas Power Grid is Ready for Winter

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The Lone Star State’s electricity grid is ready for this winter's energy demand.

On Monday, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) – which operates about three-fourths of the state’s power grid – released its final Seasonal Assessment of Resource Adequacy (SARA) for the upcoming winter months. The report – which forecasts seasonal peak demand and analyzes the region's anticipated generating capacity – found that ERCOT is expected to have sufficient installed generating capacity for this winter from December 2015 through February 2016.

According to the report, peak demand is forecasted to reach 57,400 megawatts (MW) and ERCOT's total generating resources will be 79,341 MW. The assessment projects an operating reserve of 14,124 MW, which far exceeds the crucial 2,300 MW mark, when the grid operator is forced to issue an emergency energy alert.

In recent years, ERCOT has experienced unprecedented peak demand, most notably during the polar vortex of 2014 and this past summer when the region shattered its all-time hourly peak demand record.  

So, what makes the grid operator confident that Texas is well-prepared for this winter’s anticipated demand? 

A number of important factors, including: a mild winter weather forecast; increased capacity from returned coal units; and, newly operational wind and gas resources. 

The assessment is in line with another recent report released by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) on the nation’s overall winter readiness. FERC's assessment found that the nation's grid operators and power markets should meet this winter's energy demand with relative ease, thanks to a well-supplied gas market, warmer-than-usual temperatures, and numerous pipeline expansions.

You can read ERCOT's full assessment here. For more information on the nation's overall winter readiness, check out this recent blog post on 3 reasons why FERC believes this winter's energy demand will be sufficiently met

Posted: November 05, 2015